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Full text of "Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club"

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BULLETIN 



of the 



BRITISH 



ORNITHOLOGISTS' CLUB 



C. W. BENSON 




Volume 93 
1973 



price: three pounds fifty pence (per volume) 



PREFACE 



There has been one change of importance in the 
present volume. As authorised at the 1972 Annual 
General Meeting {Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 92 : 69-70), in 
order to offset a further increase in printing and distri- 
bution charges, publication of the Bulletin has been 
reduced from six to four numbers in the year, al- 
though the total number of pages has been maintained. 

Those who have been kind enough to advise on 
individual papers include Mr. J. H. R. Boswall, Dr. 
L. H. Brown, Sir Hugh Elliott, Mr. D. Goodwin, 
Mrs. B. P. Hall, Dr. A. R. Phillips, the Rev. Dr. W. 
Serle, Prof. W. H. Thorpe, Mr. R. Wagstaffe and Dr. 
C. A. Wright. Again I am most grateful to Mr. K. E. 
Wiltsher, Manager of the Caxton and Holmesdale 
Press, assisted by Mr. P. G. Ball, for the regular pro- 
duction of the Bulletin. Also again I wish to thank 
Mrs. C. W. Benson, who has spent much time on 
proof-reading, and Mrs. M. Hawksley on the com- 
pilation of the Index to Scientific Names. 

Appreciation of the assistance rendered by Dr. 
P. J. K. Burton in the finalisation of the Bulletin for 
December 1972 was expressed in the preface for 1972. 
The opportunity is now taken to thank him for the 
still more important part which he played in the 
production of the number for March 1973. Before my 
departure for Madagascar it was possible only to hand 
over edited typescript the equivalent of rather less 
than half of that number. All further editorial work 
was carried out by Dr. Burton, and I was only able to 
resume duty with the number for June. 

C. W. BENSON 



LIST OF MEMBERS AS AT 31st DECEMBER, 1973 
(Compiled by the Hon. Secretary) 

Amended as follows : 



New Members 

Armistead, H. T., m.s., 39 Benezet Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 191 18, U.S.A. 

Carpenter, C. P., 162 Wickham Way, Beckenham, Kent BR3 3AS. 

Chatfield, D. G. P., 3 Cyncoed Close, Dunvant, Swansea, Glamorgan SA2 7RS. 

Cole, L. R., Commcen, R.A.F. Bawtry, near Doncaster, Yorkshire DN10 6JS. 

Davison, G. W. H., 8 Eastwick Road, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey. 

El kins, D. A., Little Tickeridge, Kingscote, East Grinstead, Sussex. 

Farrand, J., Jnr., m.s., Ornithology Dept., American Museum of Natural History, 

Central Park West at 79th St., New York, N.Y. 10024, U.S.A. 
Forrester, R. W., a.i.b., 29 Crandleyhill Road, Prestwick, Ayrshire KA9 2BE. 
Ginn, H. B., m.a., c/o British Trust for Ornithology, Beech Grove, Tring, Hertfordshire. 
Harvey, W. G., m.a., 17 Barton Road, Canterbury, Kent. 

Holmes, D. A., b.sc, The Old Rectory, Sudborough, Kettering, Northamptonshire. 
Heigham, J. B., m.a., African Timber and Plywood, P.M.B. 4001, Sapele, Midwest State, 

Nigeria. 
Jobling, J. A., 28 Fairweather House, Parkhurst Road, London N7 oNS. 
King, D. G., Fish and Wildlife Branch, 1600 3rd Avenue, Prince George, British Columbia 

VZL-3G6, Canada. 
Knox, A. G., 9 Urquhart Street, Aberdeen AB2 iPL. 

Lawrence, D. W., 62 The Boulevard, West Worthing, Sussex BN13 iLA. 
McAndrew, R. T., b.sc, 103 Granville Avenue, Hartlepool, Co. Durham TS26 8NA. 
Mackrill, E. J., Mill Lane, Welton-le-Marsh, Spilsby, Lincolnshire. 
Medway, Lord, ph.d, Great Glemham House, Saxmundham, Suffolk IP17 iLP. 
Meriwani, Y. N., Arasat Al-Hindiyah 389, Baghdad, Iraq. 

Neighbour, Lieut.-Colonel J. R., 9 Coldstream Gardens, West Hill Road, London S.W. 18. 
Oliver, P. J., 53 Ember Farm Way, East Molesey, Surrey. 
Perrin, Dr. M. R., ph.d., b.sc, 12 McGregor Crescent, Pinawa, Manitoba, ROE iCO, 

Canada. 
Ridland, J. R. J., Troswickness, Dunrossness, Shetland. 
Smith, G. A., m.r.cv.s., 158 Broadway, Peterborough PEi 4DC. 
Sugg, M. St. J., m.a., 5 The Limes, Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 2 AY. 
Taylor, R. C, b.sc, Biology Dept., Liverpool Polytechnic, Byrom Street, Liverpool 

L 3 3 AF. 
Templeton, R. K., The Old Manse, Doune, Perthshire. 
Wheeler, C. E., 3 Woodhurst Close, Cuxton, Rochester, Kent. 
Zonfrillo, B., 28 Brodie Road, Glasgow G21 3SB. 



Resignations 

Glenister, A. G. 
Markus, M. 
Medhurst, H. P. 

Deaths 

The Committee regrets to record the deaths of the following members : — 
Mr. R. P. Borrett 
Mr. K. D. Smith 




LIST OF AUTHORS AND CONTENTS 



Annual General Meeting 
Ash, J. S. 

Six species of birds new to Ethiopia 
Bayliss-Smith, T. P. 

A recent immigrant to Ontong Java atoll, Solomon Islands 
Beesley, J. S. S. 

The breeding seasons of birds in the Arusha National Perk, Tanzania 
Benson, C. W. and Irwin, M. P. Stuart 

P achy coccyx audeberti: some addenda 

BOSWALL, JEFFERY 

Supplementary Notes on the Birds of Point Tombo, Argentina 

The Nesting of Feral Pigeons Columba livia in Trees 

A Discography of Bird Sound from the Oriental Zoogeographical Region 
Britton, P. L. 

Seasonal movements of the black cuckoo-shrikes Campephaga phoenicea and C, 
flava, especially in eastern Africa 
Brooke, R. K. and Kemp, A. C. 

Specimen data on Bucotvhs leadbeateri 
Brown, L. H. 

An address on British birds of prey (with precis) 
Brown, L. H. and B. E. 

The relative numbers of migrant and resident rollers in eastern Kenya 
Burton, P. J. K. 

Composite nest of Short-crested Flycatcher Myiarchus ferox 

Non-passerine bird weights from Panama and Colombia 
Button, E. L. 

The Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago in Zambia 
Chapin, Ruth Trimble 

Observations on Bradypterus carpalis and Bradypterus graueri 
Chappuis, C. and Erard, C. 

A new race of Pectoral-patch Cisticola from Cameroun 
Clancey, P. A. 

The Status and Characters of the Races of the Red-backed Shrike Wintering 
in the South African Sub-Region 
Colebrook-Robjent, J. F. R. 

The breeding of the Madagascar Banded Kestrel 
Colebrook-Rob)ent, J. F. R. and Osborne, T. O. 

Nesting of Verreaux's Eagle Aquila verreauxi in Zambia 
Collins, Charles T. 

The natal pterylosis of the Swallow T -tanager 
Committee 

Report for 1972 
Cooper, John E. 

Blood parasites from a Red-chested Owlet Glaucidiuw tephronotum 
Dasgupta, J. M. 

See Mukherjee 
Dean, W. R. J. 

Notes on a Lanner with malformed bill, and on hornbills feeding on oil palm 
fruits 
De Naurois, R. 

See Erard 
Dickerman, Robert W. 

A review of the Boat-billed Heron Cochlearius cocblearius 
Elgood, J. H. 

Rufous phase Senegal Coucals in southwest Nigeria: an illustration of 
Gloger's Rule . . 



49- 


-52 




3-6 


5 2 


-53 


IC 


-20 


160- 


161 


33 

38 
170- 


-36 

-39 

172 


41 


-47 


89 


-92 




137 


126- 


130 


114- 
116- 


115 
118 




174 


167- 


170 


143- 


144 


92 


-96 


108- 


in 




166 


155- 


157 



25-26 



55 



111-114 



i73 



Elliott, Hugh F. I. 

See Thomas 
Erard, C. and De Naurois, R. 

A new race of Thekla Lark in Bale, Ethiopia . . . . . . . . 1 41-142 

Erard, C. and Jarry, G. 

A new race of Thekla Lark in Harrar, Ethiopia . . . . . . . . 139-140 

See also Chappuis 
Farkas, T. 

The biology and a new subspecies of Monticola sharpei .. .. .. 145-155 

Farrand, John and Olson, Storrs L. 

The correct spelling of Scopoli's specific name for the Malaysian Crested 

Wood Partridge (Rollulus) . . .. .. .. .. .. .. 5 3—54 

Feare, C. J. 

Numenius minutus, Falco subbuteo and Caprimulgus europaeus in the Seychelles 99-101 
Field, G. D. 

Ortolan and Blue Rock Thrush in Sierra Leone . . . . . . . . 81-82 

Subalpine and Grasshopper Warblers in Sierra Leone .. .. . .101-103 

Fjeldsa, Jon 

Possible Female Hybrids between Bucepbala islandica and clangida . . . . 6-9 

Frost, P. G. H. 

See Siegfried 
Fry, C. H. 

The juvenile plumage of Pseudbirimdo griseopyga and identity of "Vom 
Swallows" 
Goodwin, Derek 

Some calls and behaviour patterns of the Plumbeous and Rufous Pigeons . . 
Harrison, C. J. O. 

The humerus of Ichthyornis as a taxonomically isolating character 
Harrisson, Tom 

An illustrated address on the birds and bird cult of Easter Island 
Holyoak, D. T. 

Notes on the birds of Rangiroa, Tuamotu Archipelago, and the surrounding 
ocean 
Ingram, Collingwood 

Exhibition of down feathers of an Eider 
Irwin, M. P. Stuart 

See Benson 
Jackson, H. D. 

The Cape Eagle Owl Bubo capensis in Mocambique . . . . . . . . 10 

Jarry, G. 

See Erard 
Jehl, J. R., Rumboll, M. A. E. and Winter, J. P. 

Winter bird populations of Golfo San Jose, Argentina . . . . . . 56-63 

Keith, Stuart 

The voice of Sarotbrura insularis with further notes on members of the genus 130-136 
Kemp, A. C. 

See Brooke 
King, David G. 

The birds of the Shira Plateau and west slope of Kibo, Kilimanjaro . . 64-71 

Larmuth, John 

Migration of Motacilla alba alba . . . . . . . . . . . . 97~9 8 

Mees, G. F. 

Once more : the identity and authorship of Treron griseicauda . . 
Mountfort, Guy 

An illustrated address on a visit to India, Pakistan and Nepal 
Mukherjee, A. K. and Dasgupta, J. M. 

On the taxonomic status of the genus Sauropatis Cabanis & Heine 
Alcedinidae) 
Nichols, Holly A. J. and Nichols, Thomas Duncan 

St. Vincent Parrot : plumage polymorphism, juvenile plumage and nidification 



138- 


-139 


103- 


-108 


123- 


-126 




49 


26-32 




97 



. . 119-120 

49 

(family 

.. 79-81 



Olson, Storrs L. 

See Farrand, Ripley 
Osborne, T. O. 

See CoLEBROOK-ROBJENT 

Parslow, J. L. F. 

Organochlorine insecticide residues and food remains in a Bald Ibis Geronti- 
cus eremita chick from Birecik, Turkey 
Phillips, Allan R. 

On the supposed genus Petrochelidon 
Prescott, Kenneth W. 

First report of Pitta e. erythrogaster from Leyte 

A small collection of birds from Muara Island, north Borneo 
Prigogine, A. 

The migratory movements of the Pygmy Kingfisher Geyx picta natalensis ii 
the Republic of Zaire .... 
Ripley, S. Dillon and Olson, Storrs L. 

Re-identification of Rallus pectoralis deignani 
Rowan, M. K. 

An illustrated address on African brood parasites 
Rumboll, M. A. E. 

See Jehl 
Schifter, Herbert 

A specimen of Coua delalandei (Temminck) (Cuculidae) in the Naturhistori 
sches Museum, Vienna (Austria) 
Schuz, E. 

Some remarks on the Lammergeyer Gypaetus barbatus in East Africa 
Short, Lester L. 

Remarks on the status of Campethera " ' scriptoricauda\ and related species 
Sibley, Charles G. 

The Relationships of Picathartes 

The Relationships of the Swallow-tanager Tersina viridis 
Siegfried, W. Roy 

Wing moult of Ruddy Ducks in Manitoba 
Siegfried, W. Roy and Frost, P. G. H. 

Regular Occurrence of Porphyrula martinica in South Africa 
Spencer, Robert 

An illustrated address on feeding by Siskins in gardens 
Thomas, D. Keith and Elliott, Hugh F. I. 

Nesting of the Roseate Tern {Sterna dougallii) near Dar es Salaam 
Van Someren, G. R. Cunningham 

Tringa hypoleucos Linnaeus breeding in East Africa 
Walters, Michael 

The eggs of Carpococcyx renauldi 
White, C. M. N. 

Diomedea cauta in South African waters 

Migrant Pernis apivorus in the Indonesian Archipelago 

Coracina papuensis in Indonesia 

Night Herons in Wallacea 
Winter, J. P. 

See Jehl 



163-166 



32-33 
157-159 



115 

1 





2-3 


. 161- 


163 


72 


-74 


23 

75 


- 2 5 
-79 


. 98 


-99 


. 36 


-38 




97 


21 


-23 


39 


-40 




174 


• 159- 

• 175- 


56 
116 
160 
176 



INDEX TO SCIENTIFIC NAMES 
(Compiled by the Editor with the assistance of Mrs. M. Hawksley) 

All generic and specific names (of birds only) are indexed. Only new subspecific names are 
included, and are indexed under the generic and the specific names. 



abbotti, Trichastoma 172 
abingoni, Campethera 16, 74 
abyssinica, Coracias 130 

— Hirundo 17 
abyssinicus, Bucorvus 89-90 
Acanthis flammea 77 
Acrocephalus arundinaceus 31 

— atypha 31-32 

— baeticatus 5-6 

— caffra 31 

— scirpaceus 102-103 
Actitis macularia 117 
Actophilornis africanus 12-13 
acutipennis, Chordeiles 118 
adustus, Alseonax 15-16 
Aegithina tiphia 158-159 

— viridissima 158 
aegyptiacus, Alopochen 12 
aenea, Chloroceryle 1 1 8 
aeneus, Dicrurus 172 
aequatorialis, Apus 65, 70 
aequinoctialis, Procellaria 58-59 
aethereus, Phaethon 28 
aethiopicus, Laniarius 16-19 
Aethopyga siparaja 159 

afer, Nilaus 16 

— Parus 153 
affine, Malacopteron 171 
affinis, Sarothrura 70, 133 
africana, Mirafra 14-15 
africanus, Actophilornis 12-13 

— Bubo 26 

— Buphagus 16 
Agapornis fischeri 17 
aguimp, Motacilla 16 
alba, Calidris 58, 63 

— Chionis 35, 58, 63 

— Gygis 30 

— Motacilla 97-98 

— Pterodroma 27 

— Tyto 26 
albicollis, Corvus 66 

— Nyctidromus 118 
albifrons, Amblyospiza 14 

— Petrochelidon 20 
albigularis, Laterallus 117 

— Nesofregetta 28 

albiventer, Phalacrocorax 34-35, 58, 60 
albiventris, Halcyon 15 
albospecularis, Copsychus 152, 154 
alboterminatus, Tockus 15, 55 
albus, Casmerodius 58, 61 



Alcedo senegalensis 79 
Alopochen aegyptiacus 12 
Alseonax adustus 15-16 
Amazona guildingii 120-123 

— ochrocephala 1 1 8 
amazona, Chloroceryle 118 
Amblyospiza albifrons 14 
americana, Chloroceryle 118 
americanus, Daptrius 117 
amethystina, Chalcomitra 17-1! 
amicta, Nyctiornis 171 

Anas capensis 12 

— erythrorhynchus 12 

— fiavirostris 58, 61 

— georgica 58, 61 

— punctata 12 

— sparsa 12, 70 
Andropadus importunus 4 
angolensis, Monticola 154 
Anhinga anhinga 117 
anhinga, Anhinga 117 
ani, Crotophaga 118 
Anorrhinus galeritus 172 
Anous stolidus 29-30 

— tenuirostris 29-30 
anthracinus, Buteogallus 117 
Anthracoceros malayanus 171 
Anthreptes collaris 17-19 

— malacensis 159 
Anthus similis 14, 18-19, 8l 

— trivialis 81 
Apalis flavida 16-19 
apivorus, Pernis 116 
Aplonis feadensis 53 
Apus aequatorialis 65, 70 

— caffer 17-18 

— horus 17-18 

— melba 65, 71 

— myoptilus 70 

— niansae 17-18 
Aquila fasciata 10 

— rapax 13 

— verreauxi 70, 166 
Aramides cajanea 117 
Archaeopteryx 125-126 
ardosiaceus, Falco 108-109 
argus, Argusianus 172 
Argusianus argus 172 
ariel, Fregata 28 
Arizelocichla milanjensis 15 

— nigriceps 15 
armatus, Hoplopterus 14-15 



arminjoniana, Pterodroma 27 

aromatica, Treron 119 

arquatrix, Columba 17, 19 

arundinaceus, Acrocephalus 31 

Asio capensis 26 

astrild, Estrilda 14-15 

Ateleodacnis 78 

ater, Haematopus 58, 62 

atratus, Coragyps 117 

atriceps, Phalacrocorax 35, 58, 61 

atypha, Acrocephalus 31-32 

audeberti, Pachycoccyx 1 60-1 61 

aura, Cathartes 117 

aurantiigula, Macronyx 14-15, 19, 70 

auratus, Hartlaubius 153 

aurea, Jacamerops 118 

australis, Megalaima 171 

— Oxyura 98 

— Tchagra 16, 18-19 

— Treron 17 
avosetta, Recurvirostra 40 
ayresii, Sarothrura 132 
Aythya erythrophthalma 12 

baboecala, Bradypterus 168-169 
badia, Ducula 172 
baeticatus, Acrocephalus 5-6 
bairdii, Calidris 58, 63 
Balearica regulorum 12-13 
barbatus, Gypaetus 65, 68, 161-162 

— Pycnonotus 4, 16-19 
Baryphthengus martii 118 
Batis molitor 16-19 
belcheri, Pachyptila 59 
Belonopterus chilensis 117 
bennettii, Campethera 72-74 
bensoni, Monticola 145 
bergii, Sterna 29 
bernsteinii, Ptilinopus 120 
biarmicus, Falco 55 
bicalcaratus, Francolinus 144 
bicolor, Spreo 153 

— Trichastoma 24 
boehmi, Sarothrura 131 
borin, Sylvia 102-103 
bougainvillii, Phalacrocorax 34-35 
brachyptera, Cisticola 14, 144 
Bradypterus baboecala 168-169 

— carpalis 167-169 

— grandis 169 

— graueri 167-169 

— yokanae 167 
bres, Criniger 171 
brevicaudata, Camaroptera 16 
brodiei, Glaucidium 172 
brunnescens, Cisticola 64-65, 69-70, 143- 

144 
Bubo africanus 26 

— capensis 10, 69 

— lacteus 13, 26 



Buccanodon leucotis 15 
Bucephala clangula 6-9 

— islandica 6-9 
Buceros nagtglasii 120 

— pulchrirostris 11 9-1 20 

— rhinoceros 172 
Bucorvus abyssinicus 89-90 

— leadbeateri 89-91 
bullockoides, Melittophagus 16 
Bulweria 28 

Buphagus africanus 16 

— erythrorhynchus 16 
Burhinus capensis 14 
burtoni, Serinus 15 
Busarellus nigricollis 117 
Butastur rufipennis 129 
Buteo magnirostris 117 

— oreophilus 13, 65, 68 

— platypterus 117 

— ■ rufofuscus 13, 19, 65 
Buteogallus anthracinus 117 

— subtilis 117 

— urubitinga 117 
Butorides virescens 117 
Bycanistes sharpii 55 

cachinnans, Herpetotheres 117 
caerulea, Florida 117 
caffer, Apus 17-18 
caffra, Acrocephalus 31 
cajanea, Aramides 117 
Calamocichla newtoni 133 
caledonicus, Nycticorax 175 
Calidris alba 58, 63 

— bairdii 58, 63 

— canutus 58, 63 

— fuscicollis 58, 63 

— melanotos 3, 6 
Caloenas nicobarica 53 
Calospiza 76 

calvus, Geronticus 163 
Camaroptera brevicaudata 16 
Campephaga flava 41-43, 46-47 

— petiti 41 

— phoenicea 41, 44-47 

— quiscalina 41 

— sulphurata 16 
Campephilus melanoleucos 118 
Campethera abingoni 16, 74 

— ■ bennettii 72-74 
— - nubica 16, 72-74 
— - punctuligera 72-74 

— scriptoricauda 72-74 
cancellatus, Prosobonia 28 
canicapilla, Nigrita 15 
canicollis, Serinus 67 
cantans, Cisticola 14, 18-19 
cantillans, Sylvia 101 
canutus, Calidris 58, 63 
capense, Daption 58 



capensis, Anas 12 

— Asio 26 

— Bubo 10, 69 

— Burhinus 14 

— Euplectes 14 

— Pelargopsis 158 

— Zonotrichia 77 
capicola, Streptopelia 17 
Caprimulgus europaeus 99-101 

— fossii 14, 19 

— fraenatus 14, 19 
— - macrurus 172 

— poliocephalus 14, 19, 71 
cardinalis, Eos 52-53 
Carduelis citrinelloides 17-19 
carpalis, Bradypterus 167-169 
Carpococcyx renauldi 174 
Casmerodius albus 58, 61 
cassinii, Leptotila 117 
castaneiceps, Ploceus 14-15 
Catharacta skua 35, 58, 63 
Cathartes aura 117 
Catoptrophorus semipalmatus 117 
caudata, Coracias 127-129 
cauta, Diomedia 56 

cayana, Piaya 118 
cayennensis, Columba 103 
Cecropis 20 
celebensis, Pernis 116 
Celeus loricatus 1 1 8 
Centropus epomidis 173 

— senegalensis 173 

— superciliosus 14 
Centurus pucherani 1 1 8 

— rubricapillus 118 
Cercomela sordida 64-66, 70 
cerulea, Procelsterna 29 

Cer yle torquata 1 1 8 
Ceyx picta 82, 84-85 
Chalcomitra amethystina 17-18 

— senegalensis 17-18 
Charadrius falklandicus 35, 58, 62 

— pecuarius 14 

— tricollaris 14 

— wilsonia 117 
cheela, Spilomis 171 
chelicuti, Halcyon 16 
chilensis, Belonopterus 117 

— Phoenicopterus 35, 58, 61 

— Vanellus 35, 58 
chimachima, Milvago 117 
chiniana, Cisticola 14 
Chionis alba 35, 58, 63 
Chlidonias niger 1 1 7 
Chloephaga picta 58, 61 

— rudiceps 61 
chloris, Halcyon 80, 158 
Chlorocer yle aenea 1 1 8 

— amazona 118 

— americana 118 



— inda 118 
Chlorocichla flavicollis 4, 6 
Chloropeta natalensis 14 
Chlorophoneus sulfureopectus 16, 18-19 
chloropus, Gallinula 12 

Chordeiles acutipennis 118 
chrysaea, Stachyris 172 
Ciccaba woodfordii 26 
cinclorhynchus, Monticola 149 
cinereiceps, Ortalis 117 
Cinnyricinclus leucogaster 1 60-1 61 
Cinnyris mediocris 15 

— venustus 17-19 
cirlus, Emberiza 77 
cirrhatus, Spizaetus 172 
Cisticola 103 

— brachyptera 14, 144 

— brunnescens 64-65, 69-70, 143- 
144 

Cisticola brunnescens mbangensis, 

subsp. nov. 144 
Cisticola cantans 14, 18-19 

— chiniana 14 

— galactotes 12-13 

— hunteri 64, 66, 70 

— natalensis 144 

— woosnami 14, 19 
citrinelloides, Carduelis 17-19 
clangula, Bucephala 6-9 
clara, Motacilla 12-13 
Claravis pretiosa 117 
Coccopygia melanotis 14-15 
Cochlearius cochlearius 111-113 
cochlearius, Cochlearius m-113 
Coereba 78 

— flaveola 77 
Colius striatus 16, 18-19 
Coliuspasser laticauda 14 
collaris, Anthreptes 17-19 

— Lanius 16-19, 7° 
Collocalia maxima 171 
collurio, Lanius 92-96 
Columba arquatrix 17, 19 

— cayennensis 103 

— cristata 53 

— leucocephala 107 

— livia 38-39, 107 

— maculosa 107 

— nigrirostris 117 

— picazuro 105, 107 

— plumbea 103-107 

— subvinacea 104 
Columbina minuta 117 

— talpacoti 117 
concolor, Falco 101 
Conirostrum 78 

Copsychus albospecularis 152, 154 

— malabaricus 1 71-172 

— saularis 172 
Coracias abyssinica 130 



— caudata 127-129 

— garrulus 126-130 

— naevia 127-130 
Coracina papuensis 1 5 9 
Coracopsis vasa 153 
Coragyps atratus 1 1 7 
coralensis, Ptilinopus 30-31 
coromanda, Halcyon 80 
coronatus, Stephanibyx 14 
Corvus albicollis 66 

— enca 172 
Cossypha imerina 145 

— natalensis 43 

— semirufa 15 

— sharpei 147 
Coturnix coturnix 68 
coturnix, Coturnix 68 
Coua delalandei 2-3 

— serriana 3 
crestatus, Eudyptes 34 
Criniger bres 171 

— phaeocephalus 171 
cristata, Columba 53 

— Fulica 12 
croceus, Macronyx 144 
Crotophaga ani 118 

— major 118 

— sulcirostris 118 
cubla, Dryoscopus 15 
cucullatus, Orthotomus 172 

— Spermestes 14 
Cuculus micropterus 171 

— sparverioides 171 
Cuncuma vocifer 13 
cuneata, Geopelia 105 
cuprea, Nectarinia 144 
curvirostra, Treron 158 
cuvieri, Dryolimnas 133 
cyanea, Passerina 77 
Cyanerpes cyaneus 78 
cyaneus, Cyanerpes 78 
cyanomelas, Rhinopomastus 16 
Cyanomitra olivacea 15-16 
Cygnus melanocoryphus 35 

Daption capense 58 
Daptrius americanus 117 
delalandei, Coua 2-3 
demersus, Spheniscus 34 
Dendroica pensylvanica 77 

— petechia 77 
Dendropicos fuscescens 16 
Dicaeum trigonostigma 159 
dickinsoni, Falco 108-109 
Dicrurus aeneus 172 

— paradiseus 171 
Diomedia cauta 56 

— melanophris 34, 58-59 
Dioptrornis fischeri 16, 19 
dispar, Ichthyornis 124-125 



Diuca diuca 36, 77 
diuca, Diuca 36, 77 
dominica, Pluvialis 28 
dominicanus, Larus 33, 36, 58-59, 63 
dominicus, Podiceps 117 
dougalii, Sterna 21 
Dryocopus javensis 171 
Dryolimnas cuvieri 133 
Dryoscopus cubla 15 
Ducula badia 172 

— pacifica 53 
dumetaria, Upucerthia 36 
dupetithouarsii, Ptilinopus 31 
duvauceli, Harpactes 172 

ecaudatus, Terathopius 13 
Egretta sacra 28 
Elanoides forficatus 117 
Electron platyrhynchum 118 
elegans, Sarothrura 134-135 
eleonorae, Falco 101 
Emberiza cirlus 77 
— ■ hortulana 81 

— tahapisi 81 
enca, Corvus 172 
Eos cardinalis 52-53 
Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis 12-13 
episcopus, Thraupis 77 

epomidis, Centropus 173 
eremita, Geronticus 163 
Ereunetes mauri 117 
erythrocephalus, Garrulax 172 
erythrogaster, Pitta 32-33 
erythromelas, Piranga 76 
erythrophthalma, Aythya 12 
erythrorhynchus, Anas 12 

— Buphagus 16 
Estrilda astrild 14-15 
Eucometis penicillata 77 
Eudynamis taitensis 52 
Eudyptes crestatus 34 
Eupetes 24 

Euphonia luteicapilla 77 
Euplectes capensis 14 

— flammiceps 161 

— hordeaceus 161 
europaeus, Caprimulgus 99-101 
Eurostopodus temminckii 171 
eurycricotus, Zosterops 15 
eurygnatha, Sterna 36 
Eurystomus glaucurus 16-17, I 3° 

Falco ardosiaceus 108-109 

— biarmicus 55 

— concolor 101 

— dickinsoni 108-109 
— ■ eleonorae 101 

— femoralis 58, 61 

— newtoni 108-109 

— peregrinus 13, 38, 61, 108 



— subbuteo 99-101, 127 

— zoniventris 108-111 
falklandicus, Charadrius 35, 58, 62 
famosa, Nectarinia 153 

fasciata, Aquila 10 
feadensis, Aplonis 53 
femoralis, Falco 58, 61 
ferox, Myiarchus 114 
fischeri, Agapornis 17 

— Dioptrornis 16, 19 
flammea, Acanthis 77 
flammiceps, Euplectes 161 
flava, Campephaga 41-43, 46-47 
flaveola, Coereba 77 
flavicollis, Chlorocichla 4, 6 
flavida, Apalis 16-19 
flavipes, Tringa 117 
flavirostra, Limnocorax 12 
flavirostris, Anas 58, 61 

— Tockus 55 
flavivertex, Serinus 17-18 
flavus, Xanthopsar 77 
Florida caerulea 117 
fluviatilis, Locustella 4, 6 
forficatus, Elanoides 117 
formosus, Ptilinopus 120 
fortis, Geospiza 77 
fossii, Caprimulgus 14, 19 
fraenatus, Caprimulgus 14, 19 
Francolinus bicalcaratus 144 

— hildebrandti 14 

— psilolaemus 70 

— shelleyi 70 

— squamatus 14 
Fregata ariel 28 

— minor 28 
fringillinus, Parus 16 
fringilloides, Lonchura 6 
frontalis, Nonnula 118 
Fulica cristata 12 

fuligula, Ptyonoprogne 17-19 
Fulmarus glacialoides 34, 58-59 
furcata, Thalurania 118 
fuscata, Sterna 29, 100 
fuscescens, Dendropicos 16 
fuscicollis, Calidris 58, 63 

galactotes, Cisticola 12-13 
Galbula ruficauda 118 
Galerida modesta 144 

— theklae 139-142 

Galerida theklae harrarensis, subsp. nov. 

139 
Galerida theklae huei, subsp. nov. 141 
galeritus, Anorrhinus 172 
Gallinago gallinago 174 

— media 174 

— nigripennis 68, 174 
gallinago, Gallinago 174 
Gallinula chloropus 12 



Gallus gallus 28 
gallus, Gallus 28 
gambensis, Plectropterus 12 
Garrulax erythrocephalus 172 

— mitratus 171 
garrulus, Coracias 126-130 
Geopelia cuneata 105 
georgica, Anas 58, 61 
Geospiza fortis 77 
Geothlypis trichas 77 
Geranoaetus melanoleucus 62 
Geronticus calvus 163 

— eremita 163 
giganteus, Macronectes 34, 58 
glacialoides, Fulmarus 34, 58-59 
Glaucidium brodiei 172 

— tephronotum 25-26 
Glaucis hirsuta 118 

glaucurus, Eurystomus 16-17, I 3° 
goertae, Mesopicos 16 
goisagi, Gorsachius 176 
Gorsachius goisagi 176 

— melanolophus 176 
Gracula religiosa 171 
grandis, Bradypterus 169 
graueri, Bradypterus 167-169 
gravis, Puffinus 58-59 
griseicauda, Treron 119 
griseopyga, Pseudhirundo 138 
griseus, Puffinus 58-59 
guildingii, Amazona 120-123 
gularis, Monticola 149 
Gygis alba 30 

gymnocephalus, Picathartes 23-24 
Gypaetus barbatus 65, 68, 161-162 

Haematopus ater 58, 62 

— leucopodus 58, 63 

— palliatus 58, 62 
hagedash, Hagedashia 12 
Hagedashia hagedash 12 
Halcyon albiventris 15 

— chelicuti 16 

— chloris 80, 158 

— coromanda 80 

— pileata 80 

— sancta 79-80 

— senegalensis 79 
Harpactes duvauceli 172 
harrarensis, Galerida 139 
hartlaubi, Tauraco 15 
Hartlaubius auratus 153 
Herpetotheres cachinnans 1 1 7 
Hesperornjs 123-125 
hildebrandti, Francolinus 14 
Himantopus himantopus 40 
himantopus, Himantopus 40 
Hippolais polyglotta 102 
hirsuta, Glaucis 118 
hirundinacea, Sterna 36, 58-59, 62-63 



Hirundo 20 

— abyssinica 17 

— senegalensis 17-18 

— smithii 17-18 
holomelaena, Psalidoprocne 15, 69 
Hoplopterus armatus 14-15 
hordeaceus, Euplectes 161 
hortulana, Emberiza 81 

horus, Apus 17-18 
huei, Galerida 141 
hunteri, Cisticola 64, 66, 70 
Hydranassa tricolor 1 1 7 
Hylobates syndactylus 1 71-172 
Hyphanturgus ocularis 14-15 
hypoleucos, Pomatorhinus 172 

— Tringa 39-40 

Ichthyornis 123-126 

— dispar 124-125 
imerina, Cossypha 145 

— Monticola 145, 152 
importunus, Andropadus 4 
incana, Tringa 29 

inda, Chloroceryle 118 
insularis, Sarothrura 130-133 
intermedius, Ploceus 14 
islandica, Bucephala 6-9 
Ispidina picta 82-83 

Jacamerops aurea 118 
Jacana jacana 117 
jacana, Jacana 117 
jamaicensis, Leptotila 106 

— Oxyura 98-99 
jardineii, Turdoides 24 
javensis, Dryocopus 171 
johnstoni, Nectarinia 66-67, 7° 

kenricki, Stilbopsar 15 
kilimensis, Nectarinia 17-19 

lacrymosum, Tricholaema 16 
lacteus, Bubo 13, 26 
Lagonosticta rubricata 14 
Lalage nigra 1 5 8 
Laniarius aethiopicus 16-19 
Lanius collaris 16-19, 7° 

— collurio 92-96 
lapponica, Limosa 100 

Larus dominicanus 33, 36, 58-59, 63 

— maculipennis 58-59, 63 
larvatus, Oriolus 16 
Laterallus albigularis 117 
laticauda, Coliuspasser 14 
lcadbeateri, Bucorvus 89-91 
Leptotila cassinii 117 

— jamaicensis 106 

— rufaxilla 106 

— verreauxi 1 17 
lcpturus, Phaethon 28 



Lessonia rufa 36 
leucocephala, Columba 107 
leucocephalus, Lybius 16 
leucogaster, Cinnyricinclus 1 60-1 61 

— Sula 28 

leuconotus, Thalassornis 12-13 
Leucophaeus scoresbii 35, 58, 63 
leucopodus, Haematopus 58, 62 
leucoptera, Pterodroma 27 
leucopterus, Platysmurus 1 71-172 
leucopygius, Turdoides 24 
leucorodia, Platalea 124 
leucotis, Buccanodon 15 
Limnocorax flavirostra 12 
Limosa lapponica 100 
lineatum, Tigrisoma 117 
livia, Columba 38-39, 107 
Locustella fluviatilis 4, 6 

— naevia 101 
Lonchura fringilloides 6 
longicauda, Psittacula 171 
longirostris, Rhizothera 172 
longuemareus, Phaethornis 118 
Lophonetta specularoides 58, 61 
loricatus, Celeus 118 
ludovicianus, Pheucticus 77 
lugens, Sarothrura 132-133 

— Streptopelia 17 
lunata, Sterna 29 
luteicapilla, Euphonia 77 
Lybius leucocephalus 16 

— melanopterus 15 

maccoa, Oxyura 98-99 
macrodactyla, Napothera 171 
Macronectes giganteus 34, 58 
Macronyx 18 

— aurantiigula 14-15, 19, 70 

— croceus 144 
Macropygia ruficeps 172 
macrorhynchos, Notharcus 118 
macrurus, Caprimulgus 172 
macularia, Actitis 117 
maculata, Stachyris 171 
maculipennis, Larus 58-59, 63 
maculosa, Columba 107 

— Prinia 153 

madaga scarier) sis, Rallus 133 
magellanicus, Phalacrocorax 34, 58, 60 

— Spheniscus 33-34, 58-59 
magnirostris, Buteo 117 
major, Crotophaga 118 

— Podiceps 58-59 
malabaricus, Copsychus 1 71-172 
malacensis, Anthreptes 159 

— Polyplectron 172 
Malaconotus zeylonus 1 5 3 
Malacopteron affine 171 
Malacoptila panamensis 118 
malayanus, Anthracoceros 171 



martii, Baryphthengus 118 
martinica, Porphryula 36-37 
mauri, Ereunetes 117 
maxima, Collocalia 171 
maximus, Saltator 77 

— Thalasseus 58, 63 
mbangensis, Cisticola 144 
media, Gallinago 174 
mediocris, Cinnyris 15 
Megalaima australis 171 

— oorti 171 
Megaloprepia 120 
melanocoryphus, Cygnus 35 
melanoleucos, Campephilus 118 
melanoleucus, Geranoaetus 62 
melanolophus, Gorsachius 175 
melanophris, Diomedia 34, 58-59 
melanopterus, Lybius 15 
melanotis, Coccopygia 14-15 
melanotos, Calidris 3, 6 
melanurus, Trogon 1 1 8 

melba, Apus 65, 71 
Melittophagus bullockoides 16 

— oreobates 15 

— pusillus 16 
Melocichla mentalis 14, 19 
mentalis, Melocichla 14, 19 
mercierii, Ptilinopus 31 
Mesopicos goertae 16 
micropterus, Cuculus 171 
migrans, Milvus 70 
milanjensis, Arizelocichla 15 
Milvago chimachima 117 
Milvus migrans 70 
miniatus, Myioborus 77 
minor, Fregata 28 
minuta, Columbina 117 

— Piaya 118 
minutus, Numenius 99-100 
Mirafra africana 14-15 
miriflcus, Rallus 115 
mitrata, Numida 14 
mitratus, Garrulax 171 
modesta, Galerida 144 
modestus, Zonibyx 58 
molitor, Batis 16-19 
momota, Momotus 1 1 8 
Momotus momota 118 
Monasa morphoeus 118 
Monticola angolensis 154 

— bensoni 145 

— cinclorhynchus 149 

— gularis 149 

— imerina 145, 152 

— rupestris 154 

— saxatilis 81 

— sharpei 145-154 

— solitarius 81 
morio, Onychognathus 16 
morphoeus, Monasa 118 



Motacilla aguimp 16 

— alba 97-98 

— clara 12-13 
mozambicus, Serinus 144 
Muscicapa 101 

mutata, Tchitrea 153 
Myiarchus ferox 114 
Myioborus miniatus 77 
Myiodynastes 115 
myoptilus, Apus 70 
Myrmecocichla nigra 144 

naevia, Coracias 127-130 

— Locustella 101 
nagtglasii, Buceros 120 
namaquus, Thripias 16-17 
nana, Turnix 139 
Napothera macrodactyla 171 
natalensis, Chloropeta 14 

— Cisticola 144 

— Cossypha 43 
nativitatis, Puffinus 28 
nebularia, Tringa 68 
Nectarinia cuprea 144 

— famosa 153 

— johnstoni 66-67, 7° 

— kilimensis 17-19 

— tacazze 15 
neglecta, Pterodroma 27 
Nesillas typica 153 
Nesofregetta albigularis 28 
newtoni, Calamocichla 133 

— Falco 108-109 
niansae, Apus 17-18 
nicobarica, Caloenas 53 
niger, Chlidonias 117 
nigra, Lalage 158 

— Myrmecocichla 144 
nigriceps, Arizelocichla 15 

— Spermestes 14 
nigricollis, Busarellus 117 

— Stachyris 171 
nigripennis, Gallinago 68, 174 
nigrirostris, Columba 117 
Nigrita canicapilla 15 
nigrocincta, Tangara 78 
Nilaus afer 16 

Nonnula frontalis 1 1 8 

— ruficapilla 118 
Notharctus macrorhynchos 118 

— tectus 1 1 8 

nubica, Campethera 16, 72-74 
Numenius minutus 99-100 
Numida mitrata 14 
Nyctanassa violacea 117 
Nycticorax caledonicus 175 

— nycticorax 58, 61, 175-176 
nycticorax, Nycticorax 58, 61, 175-176 
Nyctidromus albicollis 118 
Nyctiornis amicta 171 



Nystalus r adiatus 1 1 8 

occipitalis, Podiceps 58-59 
oceanicus, Oceanites 58-59 
Oceanites oceanicus 58-59 
ochrocephala, Amazona 118 
ocularis, Hyphanturgus 14-15 
olivacea, Cyanomitra 15-16 

— Piranga 77, 156 
olivaceus, Phalacrocorax 58-59 

— Picumnus 118 

— Turdus 15 
Onychognathus morio 16 

— tenuirostris 70 

— walleri 15 
oorti, Megalaima 171 
oreobates, Melittophagus 15 
oreophilus, Buteo 13, 65, 68 
Oriolus larvatus 16 

— xanthonotus 172 
Ortalis cinereiceps 117 
Orthotomus cucullatus 172 

— sepium 171 
Othyphantes reichenowi 14-15 
Oxyura australis 98 

— jamaicensis 98-99 

— maccoa 98-99 

Pachy coccyx audeberti 1 60-1 61 
Pachyptila 58 

— belcheri 59 
pacifica, Ducula 53 
pacificus, Puffinus 27 
palliatus, Haematopus 58, 62 
palmarum, Thraupis 75, 156 
paludicola, Riparia 17-18 
panamensis, Malacoptila 118 
papa, Sarcoramphus 117 
papuensis, Coracina 159 
paradiseus, Dicrurus 171 
paradisi, Terpsiphone 172 
Parus afer 1 5 3 

— fringillinus 16 
Passerina cyanea 77 
patachonicus, Tachyeres 35, 58, 61 
pectoralis, Rallus 115 
pecuarius, Charadrius 14 
Pelargopsis capensis 158 
penicillata, Eucometis 77 
pensylvanica, Dendroica 77 
peregrinus, Falco 13, 58, 61, 108 
Pernis apivorus 116 

— celebensis 116 
perspicillata, Pulsatrix 118 
petechia, Dendroica 77 
petiti, Campephaga 41 
Petrochelidon albifrons 20 

— pyrrhonota 20 
Petrocincla 145 
Peucedramus 74 



phaeocephalus, Criniger 171 
Phaethon aethereus 28 

— lepturus 28 

— rubricauda 28 
Phaethornis longuemareus 118 

— superciliosus 118 
Phalacrocorax albiventer 34-35, 58, 60 

— atriceps 35, 58, 61 

— bougainvillii 34-35 

— magellanicus 34, 58, 60 

— olivaceus 58-59 
Phasianus 53 

Pheucticus ludovicianus 77 
phoenicea, Campephaga 41, 44-47 
Phoenicopterus chilensis 35, 58, 61 
Phoeniculus purpureus 16 
Pholia sharpii 15 
Phyllastrephus strepitans 4 
Phyllolais pulchella 16 
Phylloscopus sibilatrix 5-6 

— trochilus 5, 102 
Piaya cayana 118 

— minuta 118 
Picathartes gymnocephalus 23-24 
picazuro, Columba 105, 107 
picta, Ceyx 82, 84-85 

— ■ Chloephaga 58, 61 

— ■ Ispidina 82-83 
Picumnus olivaceus 118 
pileata, Halcyon 80 
Piranga erythromelas 76 

— olivacea 77, 156 
Pitta erythrogaster 32-33 
Platalea leucorodia 124 
platypterus, Buteo 117 
platyrhynchum, Electron 118 
Platysmurus leucopterus 171 
paludicola, Riparia 17-18 
Plectropterus gambensis 12 
Ploceus castaneiceps 14-15 

— intermedius 14 

— spekei 14 
plumbea, Columba 103-107 
Pluvialis dominica 28 
Pluvianellus socialis 58, 63 
Podiceps dominicus 117 

— major 58-59 

— occipitalis 58-59 

— rolland 58-59 
podiceps, Podilymbus 117 
Podilymbus podiceps 117 
Poliocephalus ruficollis 12-13 
poliocephalus, Caprimulgus 14, 19, 71 
polyglotta, Hippolais 102 
Polyplectron malacensis 172 
Pomatorhinus hypoleucos 172 
Pomatostomus superciliosus 24 

— temporalis 24 
pompadora, Treron 119 
Porphyrula martinica 36-37 



pretiosa, Claravis 117 
Prinia maculosa 153 

— subflava 14, 18-19, J 44 
Prionops retzii 161 
Procellaria aequinoctialis 58-59 
Procelsterna cerulea 29 
Procnias 75 

Prosobonia cancellatus 28 
Psalidoprocne holomelaena 15, 69 
Pseudhirundo 20 

— griseopyga 138 
psilolaemus, Francolinus 70 
Psilopogon pyrolophus 172 
Psittacula longicauda 171 
Pterodroma alba 27 

— arminjoniana 27 

— leucoptera 27 

— neglecta 27 

— rostrata 27 

Pter oglossus torquatus 1 1 8 
Ptilinopus bernsteinii 120 

— coralensis 30-31 

— dupetithouarsii 31 

— formosus 120 

— mercierii 31 

— purpuratus 31 

— superbus 31 
Ptyonoprogne fuligula 17-19 
pucherani, Centurus 118 
Puffinus gravis 58-59 

— griseus 58-59 

— nativitatis 28 

— pacificus 27 
pulchella, Phyllolais 16 
pulchra, Sarothrura 135 
pulchrirostris, Buceros 119-120 
Pulsatrix perspicillata 118 
punctata, Anas 12 
punctuligera, Campethera 72-74 
purpuratus, Ptilinopus 31 
purpureus, Phoeniculus 16 
pusillus, Melittophagus 16 
Pycnonotus barbatus 4, 16-19 

— zeylanicus 172 
pyrolophus, Psilopogon 172 
pyrrhonota, Petrochelidon 20 

Quelea 15, 69 

quiscalina, Campephaga 41 

radiatus, Nystalus 118 
Rallus madagascariensis 133 

— mirificus 1 1 5 

— pectoralis 115 

— striatus 115 
rapax, Aquila 13 
Recurvirostra avosetta 40 
regulorum, Balearica 12-13 
reichenowi, Othyphantes 14-15 
religiosa, Gracula 171 



reaauldi, Carpococcyx 174 
retzii, Prionops 161 
rhinoceros, Buceros 172 
Rhinopomastus cyanomelas 16 
Rhizothera longirostris 172 
Riparia 138 

— paludicola 17-18 
rolland, Podiceps 58-59 
Rollulus rouloul 53-54 
rostrata, Pterodroma 27 
Rostrhamus sociabilis 117 
rouloul, Rollulus 53-54 
rubidiceps, Chloephaga 61 
rubricapillus, Centurus 118 
rubricata, Lagonosticta 14 
rubricauda, Phaethon 28 
ruckeri, Threnetes 118 
rufa, Lessonia 36 

— Sarothrura 131, 135 
rufaxilla, Leptotila 106 
ruficapilla, Nonnula 118 
ruficauda, Galbula 118 
ruficeps, Macropygia 172 
ruficollis, Poliocephalus 12-13 
rufipennis, Butastur 129 
rufofuscus, Buteo 13, 19, 65 
rufus, Trogon 1 1 8 
rumicivorus, Thinocorus 35, 58, 63 
rupestris, Monticola 154 

sacra, Egretta 28 
Saltator maximus 77 
sancta, Halcyon 79-80 
Sarcoramphus papa 117 
Sarothrura affinis 70, 133 

— ayresii 132 

— boehmi 131 

— elegans 134-135 

— insularis 130-133 

— lugens 132-133 

— pulchra 135 

— rufa 131, 135 

— watersi 132 
saularis, Copsychus 172 
Sauropatis 79-80 
saxatilis, Monticola 81 

Saxicola torquata 14-15, 18-19, 65, 69 
sayaca, Thraupis 77 
scirpaceus, Acrocephalus 102-103 
Scopus umbretta 109 
scoresbii, Leucophaeus 35, 58, 63 
scriptoricauda, Campethera 72-74 
Seicercus umbrovirens 1 5 
Selenidera spectabilis 1 1 8 
semipalmatus, Catoptrophorus 117 
semirufa, Cossypha 15 
semitorquata, Streptopelia 17, 19 
senegala, Tchagra 16, 144 
senegalensis, Alcedo 79 

— Centropus 173 



— Chalcomitra 17-18 

— Ephippiorhynchus 12-13 

— Halcyon 79 

— Hirundo 17-18 

— Stigmatopelia 17 
sepiarium, Trichastoma 24 
sepium, Orthotomus 171 
Serinus burtoni 15 

— canicollis 67 

— flavivertex 17-18 

— mozambicus 144 

— striolatus 17-19, 64, 67-68, 70 
serriana, Coua 3 

sharpei, Cossypha 147 

— Monticola 145-154 
sharpii, Bycanistes 55 

— Pholia 15 
shelleyi, Francolinus 70 
sibilatrix, Phylloscopus 5-6 
similis, Anthus 14, 18-19, 8l 
siparaja, Aethopyga 159 
skua, Catharacta 35, 58, 63 
smithii, Hirundo 17-18 
sociabilis, Rostrhamus 117 
socialis, Pluvianellus 58, 63 
solitaria, Tringa 117 
solitarius, Monticola 81 
sordida, Cercomela 64-66, 70 
sparsa, Anas 12, 70 
sparveriodes, Cuculus 171 
spectabilis, Selenidera 118 
specularoides, Lophonetta 58, 61 
spekei, Ploceus 14 
Spermestes cucullatus 14 

— nigriceps 14 
Spheniscus demersus 34 

— magellanicus 33-34, 58-59 
Spilornis cheela 171 

Spizaetus cirrhatus 172 
Spreo bicolor 152 
squamatus, Francolinus 14 
Squatarola squatarola 100 
squatarola, Squatarola 100 
Stachyris chrysaea 172 

— maculata 171 

— nigricollis 171 
Stephanibyx 68 

— coronatus 14 
Sterna bergii 29 

— dougalii 21 

— eurygnatha 36 

— fuscata 29, 100 

— hirundinacea 36, 58-59, 62-63 

— lunata 29 

— trudeam 58, 63 
Stigmatopelia senegalensis 17 
Stilbopsar kenricki 15 
stolidus, Anous 29-30 
strepitans, Phyllastrephus 4 
Streptopelia 105 



— capicola 17 

— lugens 17 

— semitorquata 17, 19 
Streptoprocne 196 
striatus, Colius 16, 18-19 

— Rallus 115 

striolatus, Serinus 17-19, 64, 67-68, 70 
subbuteo, Falco 99-101, 127 
subflava, Prinia 14, 18-19, x 44 
subtilis, Buteogallus 117 
subvinacea, Columba 104 
Sula leucogaster 28 

— sula 28 
sula, Sula 28 

sulcirostris, Crotophaga 118 
sulfureopectus, Chlorophoneus 16, 18-19 
sulphurata, Campephaga 16 
superbus, Ptilinopus 31 
superciliosus, Centropus 14 

— Phaethornis 118 

— Pomatostomus 24 
Sylvia borin 102-103 

— cantillans 101 
Sylvietta whytii 16, 19 
syndactylus, Hylobates 1 71-172 

tacazze, Nectarinia 15 
Tachyeres patachonicus 35, 58, 61 
tahapisi, Emberiza 81 
taitensis, Eudynamis 52 
talpacoti, Columbina 1 1 7 
Tanagra violacea 156-157 
Tangara 76-77, 155 

— nigrocincta 78 
Tauraco hartlaubi 15 
Tchagra australis 16, 18-19 

— senegala 16, 144 
Tchitrea mutata 153 

— viridis 15-16, 18-19 
tectus, Notharctus 118 
temmin.ckii, Eurostopodus 171 
temporalis, Pomatostomus 24 
tenuirostris, Anous 29-30 

— Onychognathus 70 
tephronotum, Glaucidium 25-26 
Terathopius ecaudatus 13 
Terpsiphone paradisi 172 
Tersina viridis 75-78, 155-157 
Thalasseus maximus 58, 63 
Thalassornis leuconotus 12-13 
Thalurania furcata 118 
theklae, Galerida 139-142 
Thinocorus 75 

— rumicivorus 35, 58, 63 
Thraupis 1 5 5 

— episcopus 77 

— palmarum 75, 156 

— sayaca 77 
Threnetes ruckeri 118 
Thripias namaquus 16-17 



Tigrisoma lineatum 117 
tiphia, Aegithina 158-159 
Tockus 171 

— alboterminatus 15, 55 

— flavirostris 55 
torquata, Ceryle 118 

— Saxicola 14-15, 18-19, 65, 69 
tor quatus, Pteroglossus 1 1 8 
Treron aromatica 119 

— australis 17 

— curvirostra 158 

— griseicauda 119 

— pompadora 1 1 9 
trichas, Geothlypis 77 
Trichastoma abbotti 172 

— bicolor 24 

— sepiarium 24 
Tricholaema lacrymosum 16 
tricollaris, Charadrius 14 
tricolor, Hydranassa 1 1 7 
trigonostigma, Dicaeum 159 
Tringa flavipes 117 

— hypoleucos 39-40 

— incana 29 

— nebularia 68 

— solitaria 117 
trivialis, Anthus 81 
trochilus, Phylloscopus 5, 102 
Trogon melanurus 118 

— rufus 118 

— viridis 118 
trudeaui, Sterna 58, 63 
Turdoides jardineii 24 

— leucopygius 24 
Turdus olivaceus 1 5 
Turnix 75 

— nana 139 
Tympanistria tympanistria 15 
tympanistria, Tympanistria 15 
typica, Nesillas 153 



Tyto alba 26 

umbretta, Scopus 109 
umbrovirens, Seicercus 1 5 
Upucerthia dumetaria 36 
urubitinga, Buteogallus 117 

Vanellus chilensis 35, 58 
vasa, Coracopsis 153 
venustus, Cinnyris 17-19 
verreauxi, Leptotila 1 1 7 

— Aquila 70, 166 
violacea, Nyctanassa 117 

— Tanagra 156-157 
virescens, Butorides 117 
viridis, Tchitrea 15-16, 18-19 

— Tersina 75-78, 155-157 

— Trogon 118 
viridissima, Aegithina 158 
vocifer, Cuncuma 13 

walleri, Onychognathus 15 
watersi, Sarothrura 132 
whytii, Sylvietta 16, 19 
wilsonia, Charadrius 117 
woodfordii, Ciccaba 26 
woosnami, Cisticola 14, 19 

xanthonotus, Oriolus 172 
Xanthopsar flavus 172 

yokanae, Bradypterus 167 

zeylanicus, Pycnonotus 172 
zeylonus, Malaconotus 153 
Zonibyx modestus 58 
zoniventris, Falco 1 08-1 11 
Zonotrichia capensis 77 
Zosterops eurycricotus 15 




Corrigenda 

p. ii, line 47: 'rising', not 'rising' 

p. 13, line 25: i Motacilla\ not 'Moticilld 

p. 14, table 4: l hildebrandti'' not 'hz/debrantf 

p. 15, table 5 : i Stilbopsar\ not 'Stilbospar' ; 'medzocris' not 'mediocria . 

p. 15, last line: 'observation', not 'obesrvation' ; 'carried', not 'varried'. 

p. 16, table 6: i lacrymosum\ not i lachrymosum'' 

p. 17, table 7: i Ptyonoprogne\ not ' ' Pytonoprogne 

p. 19, line 30: l Carduelis\ not ' Cardeuelis* 

p. 23, line 22: 'nesting', not 'nestling' 

p. 29, line 13: 'bergz'f, not 'bergf 

p. 34, line 49: i boHgamvillii\ not 'bougamvzl/zz' 

pp. 36-37: 'Olson', not 'Ohlson' (in paper by Frost & Siegfried) 

p 43, line 33 : 'east of, not '33 to' 

p. 43, line 37: 'Amani', not 'Amari' 

p. 44, line 20: '356', not '351' 

p. 45, line 24: 'May', not 'Mat' 

p. 53 : In title to paper by Farrand & Olson, 'Malaysian', not 'Maylaysian' 

p. 65, line 21: 'Rodents', not 'Rodent' 

line 9 : To re-read 'same time, and integration is possible. Attention is drawn to' 

p. 97 : In title to paper by Larmuth, 'alba, not l alhd 

p. 153, line 27: i Tchitrea\ not 'Tchitrd 

p. 172, line 8: l aeneus\ not 'aenus' 




The Caxton & Holmesdale Press, Sevenoaks 



r * 



Bulletin of the 



British Ornithologists' Club 




Edited by 
C. W. BENSON 



Volume 93 No. 1 



March 1973 



Committee 

Sir Hugh Elliott, Bt., o.b.e. {Chairman) 

J. H. Elgood {y ice-Chair man) 

C. W. Benson, o.b.e. {Editor) 

R. E. F. Peal {Hon. Secretary) 

P. Tate {Hon. Treasurer) 

J. K. Adams 

Dr. P. J. K. Burton 

P. Hogg 

C. J. Mead 



Bulletin of the 

BRITISH ORNITHOLOGISTS' CLUB 

Vol. 93 No. 1 Published: 20th March, 1973 

The six hundred and eightieth meeting of the Club was held at the Cafe 
Royal, 69 Regent Street, London, W.i, on Tuesday, 16th January, 1973 at 
7 p.m. 

Chairman: Sir Hugh Elliott, Bt., o.b.e.; present 14 members and 8 guests. 

The speaker was Mrs. M. K. Rowan, who gave an illustrated address on 
African brood parasites. 



The Annual General Meeting of the Club will be held at the Cafe Royal, 
68 Regent Street, London, W.i on Tuesday, 8th May, 1973 at 6 p.m. 

AGENDA 

1. Minutes of the last Annual General Meeting. 

2. Report of the Committee and Accounts for 1972. 

3. The Bulletin. L, 

4. Election of Officers : 

(a) The Committee proposes that Mr. R. F. Peal be re-elec 
Secretary. 

(b) The Committee proposes that Mr. P. Tate be re-elected Honorary 
Treasurer. 

(c) The Committee proposes that Mr. J. H. R. Bos wall be elected a 
member of the Committee vice Mr. J. K. Adams. 

by order of the Committee, 

RONALD E. F. PEAL, 

Honorary Secretary. 

Report of the Committee for 1972 

In January, March and May, the meetings of the Club were held at the 
Criterion, in Piccadilly Circus, but with the closing-down of the Criterion 
were transferred, for the July, September and November meetings, to the 
not far distant Cafe Royal. The total number of members and guests 
attending showed a welcome increase to 191 (138 in 197 1), the highest since 
1967 (193). This may be a reflection of the convenient situation and good 
value of the present venue; it is hoped that attendance will continue at the 
present level or show a further increase in 1973, since the favourable dinner- 
charge of £1.75 per head including service is partly dependent on that 
factor. 

The Committee regrets to report the death of one member during the 
year, Mr. R. E. Heath. Ten new members joined the Club, but there were 
six resignations and the membership of 17 members has had to be terminated 
under Rule 4, a nett loss of 14 members. This may be regarded as a further, 
but it is to be hoped final, reaction to the increased subscription introduced 
in 1 97 1, the total loss of membership over the two years being about 10%. 
It is important that this should now be made good as quickly as possible, 
since a membership of the order of 275 (about 50 more members than at 



present), combined if possible with some increase in the number (at present 
about 80) of non-member subscribers, would certainly be the surest means of 
achieving financial stability. 

At the Annual General Meeting on 9th May, Mr. P. Hogg was elected to 
the Committee in place of Mrs. J. D. Bradley, who retired by rotation. A 
major change approved by the Meeting and implemented by a decision of the 
Committee in October was that publication of the Bulletin (which in 1972 
still comprised 172 pages and, technically, six issues, although there was in 
fact a 'June/ August' double number) should be placed on a quarterly basis 
in 1973. One result of this economy measure is that the Audited Accounts for 
1972 cannot be circulated with the present Report, but will have to be tabled 
separately at the 1973 Annual General Meeting. It is proposed, however, to 
revert in future years to the pre- 1969 practice of publishing the Report and 
Accounts, as well as the Minutes of the A.G.M., in the Bulletin. The four 
pages used for this purpose will be additional, thus increasing the length of 
each annual volume of the Bulletin to 176 pages. 

In general the Club's financial position showed a further slight improve- 
ment in 1972, but this, as explained at the Annual General Meeting (see 
Bulletin Vol. 92: 3 & 4), was largely due to the completion of the sorting of 
Bulletin stocks and the consequent resumption of back number sales (which 
included a considerable backlog of orders). It would be unrealistic to suppose 
that this level of sales can be maintained in future years, so that as already 
indicated some increase of membership, supplemented by the continuing 
exercise of the strictest economy (as exemplified by the quarterly publication 
of the Bulletin), remain essential. 

A specimen of Coua delalandei (Temminck) (Cuculidae) 
in the Naturhistorisches Museum, Vienna (Austria) 

by Herbert Schijter 

Received 26th September 1972 
Benson & Schiiz (1971) have mentioned the existence of a specimen of Coua 
delalandei in the Staatliches Museum fur Naturkunde, Stuttgart, not listed by 
Greenway (1967). There is also a mounted specimen of this species, believed j 
to be extinct, in the Naturhistorisches Museum, Vienna. Neither was this 
specimen listed by Greenway (1967), nor by Luther (1970), although it was 
included by Sassi (1939) in his contribution on rare birds in the Vienna 
Museum. 

The Vienna specimen oiCoua delalandei, no. NMW 50810, was bought by 
Johann Natterer in 1840 during his journey to France and England, when he 
visited museum collections and dealers in natural history objects (Roki- 
tansky 1957). Its acquisition number is 1844.I.252 in the collection brought 
back by Johann Natterer, comprising more than 500 specimens acquired 
from 28 different sources. At this time (1844) Joseph Natterer, the elder 
brother of Johann, was curator of the ornithological collections in the 
museum. Unfortunately the specimen does not bear an exact date of collec- 
ting. It is merely marked "1840", with the epithets "Evans" and "Madagas- 
car". The name Evans does not appear in the list of specimens acquired, 
although it is mentioned at the end of the list together with the names of 
other dealers, with the remark that seven specimens were acquired from this 
source. So it is not possible to ascertain which are the other six specimens 
obtained from Evans, although it is likely that other specimens from 



Madagascar in the collection were obtained from other dealers, such as 
Verreaux. The species are listed in a systematic sequence, so that the 
specimens from various sources are mixed. The date 1840 on the label of the 
C. delalandei cannot be regarded as that of collecting, but merely that of 
acquisition. Nevertheless it is possible that this specimen, and the one in 
Stuttgart, were collected later than 1834, although neither Jouanin (1962) 
nor Greenway (1968) could find evidence of one obtained later. The Vienna 
specimen is still in good condition, even though in the past it has undoubtedly 
been on public exhibit. 

In the list of acquisitions another specimen appears under the name of this 
species, no. 1844.I.25 3. Sassi (1939) referred to it as having been perhaps lost 
or given away in exchange. I have ascertained that it is still in the collection. 
It is not however a Coua delalandei but a C. serriana. It was not identified to 
species originally, the name C. serriana having been added on the label later. 
As Pucheran's description of C. serriana is dated 1845, the specimen was 
received in Vienna before the species had been named. The name "Richard" 
appears on the original label, so that it does not appear to have come from 
the same source as the C. delalandei. Although it was without doubt originally 
mounted, it is now kept as a study skin. 

To summarise, attention is re-drawn to the existence of a specimen of 
Coua delalandei in the Naturhistorisches Museum, Vienna, but there is no 
evidence that a second specimen was ever acquired, as has been claimed. 

References : 

Benson, C. W. & Schuz, E. 1971. A specimen oi Coua delalandei (Temminck) (Cuculidae). 

Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 91: 159-160. 
Greenway, J. C. 1967. Extinct and vanishing birds of the world. Revised ed'n. New York: 

Dover Publications. 
Jouanin, C. 1962. Inventaire des oiseaux eteints ou en voie d'extinction conserves au 

Museum de Paris. Terre Vie 109: 257-301. 
Luther, D. 1970. Die ausgestorbenen vogel der welt. Wittenberg Lutherstadt: Neue Brehm 

Biicherei no. 424. 
Rokitansky, G. 1957. Johann Natterer, Erster Ornithologe Oesterreichs. Jonrn. Ornith. 98: 

133-144. 
Sassi, M. 1939. Die wertvollsten Stucke der Wiener Vogelsammlung. Ann. Naturhistor. 

Mus. Wien 50: 395-409. 

Six species of birds new to Ethiopia 

by J. S. Ash 

Received 28th September 197$ 
Three of the following six species, not previously recorded in Ethiopia, have 
been discovered since the publication of the recent Checklist (Urban & 
Brown 1971); the other three were included just prior to going to press. 

Calidris melanotos^ American Pectoral Sandpiper: One was observed 
feeding at dawn along the western shore of the artificial Rift Valley lake, 
formed by a dam, at Koka (8° 27' N, 39 6' E), Shoa Province, Ethiopia, on 
1 8th March 1971. It had not been seen on the previous 13 days. I had another 
opportunity to look for it in the late afternoon, when it was found again in 
the same place and collected. It proved to be a male with regressed gonads, 
with wing-length 148 mm and weight 67.4 g. The specimen is deposited 
at the Smithsonian Institution, where Dr. George E. Watson has kindly 
confirmed the identification. There are now ten examples of this Nearctic 
species to be recorded on the African continent, and eight of them are from 
south of the Sahara. The previous records have been one each in Kenya, 



Botswana and Rhodesia, two in Morocco and four in South Africa; all since 
1949 (Ginn & Brooke 1971 ; Kemp 1972). 

It seems likely that this and the other birds from south of the Sahara were 
displaced across the north Atlantic on autumn passage and continued south 
to overwinter in tropical Africa. If such displaced birds return north in the 
Palearctic spring, they could account for some of the spring occurrences in 
Europe. Excluding the two Moroccan records, it is of interest that the others, 
except for one bird in South Africa in December, occurred in March-May. 

Chlorocichla flavicollis, Yellow-Throated Leaf-Love: The Pycnonotidae, of 
which about 3 3 species are currently recognized in East Africa, is a poorly 
represented family in Ethiopia. Until the present species was found, only 
three others were known: Pycnonotus barbatus common and widespread, 
A.ndropadus importunus in the south-east and Phyllastrephus strepitans common 
in parts of the south (Urban & Brown 1971). It is possible that others remain 
to be identified in the south-western forests (Brown & Urban 1970) and 
along the Wabi Shabelli in southern Ogaden (personal observations). 

The present species was first found at Didessa (9 02' N, 3 6° 09' E), 
Wollega Province, in a mist net on 25 th July 1971. Since then six further 
examples have been caught as follows : — 



Date 


Wing {mm) 


Weight 


'W 


Time 


Wing Moult 


25 July 70 


106 


44.9 




1600 


Nil 


18 February 71 


103 


38.6 




2130 




23 February 71 


104 


45.2 




1 100 




6 July 71 


107 


45.8 




1130 




7 July 7 1 


104 


37-7 




0700 




8 July 71 


94 


38.8 




1700 


Nil 


9 July 71 


98 


40.7 




1400 




6 February 72* 


94 


37-0 




0830 


Nil 



*Retrap of the bird caught on 8th July 1971. 

All the birds were caught along the sides of two small streams, along which 
there are a few trees and a thick underscrub, on the edge of the plateau above 
the Didessa River gorge. The species could be quite widespread in the 
abundant similar habitat in this region. 

Two specimens examined at the British Museum by Mrs. B. P. Hall and 
Mr. Derek Goodwin are identified as C. f. soror but are stated to be greener 
on the back than neighbouring forms and show some approach to palli- 
digula y being a very little more yellowish on throat and underparts than most 
of the specimens of soror in the British Museum. 

The Didessa birds represent a considerable extension of the known range 
of the species, north-eastwards into the Ethiopian highlands from Uganda. 

Locus tella fluviatilis, River Warbler: Urban & Brown (1971) stated that the 
River Warbler "should occur in Ethiopia but has not been recorded as yet". 
It is therefore of interest to record five examples in two autumns at Lake 
Abiata (7 36' N, 3 8° 40' E) in the Ethiopian Rift Valley. Three of these were 
collected and one each deposited in the collections of the British Museum 
and Smithsonian Institution. The records are as follows: — 



Date 


Age 


Wing {mm) Weight {g) 


Time 


Wing Moult 


29 October 70 


1 Y 


73 


17.6 


1730 


Nil 


30 October 70 


p 


77 


18.5 


1030 


Nil 


31 October 71 


1 Y 


69 


14.2 


1 100 


Nil 


13 October 71 


? 


69 


14.8 


1 100 


Nil 


22 October 71 


? 


74 


18.0 


1030 


Nil 



The timing of migration is of interest. In 1970 the area was worked from 
10th October to 2nd November, and the birds were captured in the last 
three days of October. The 1971 records, when the area was worked from 
1 2th October to 2nd November, were much earlier. R. J. Dowsett informs 
me (in litt.) that arrivals in Kenya seem to be about mid-December, and in 
Zambia later in the month, so that there may be an interval of about two 
months before these birds traverse the relatively short distance to their 
wintering areas. So far there is no evidence that this species occurs in 
Ethiopia in mid winter, in spite of extensive work in suitable habitat. The 
Abiata birds were found in thick herbaceous growth adjoining a river and 
lake. 

Phylloscopus slbllatrlx, Wood Warbler : It is curious that the Wood Warbler 
has not been recorded previously in Ethiopia (Urban & Brown 1971) for 
the species is well-known further west and south (Mackworth-Praed & 
Grant 1955) and at a roughly similar latitude in West Africa (e.g. Dowsett & 
Fry 1971). A specimen was netted, ringed and released, on 1st May 1971 in a 
small area of deciduous woodland located on the periphery of a flood plain 
of the River Awash where it flows through the Danakil Desert. The area is 
known as Bahadu (io° 05' N, 40 37' E), near Gewani (= Gauani), Harar 
Province in eastern Ethiopia. 

It was easily identified among the few Willow Warblers Phylloscopus 
trochilus by the moss-green coloration of its upper parts and yellow breast 
demarcated from the white of the rest of the underparts. Its diagnostic wing 
formula (short 1st primary, 2nd=4th, 3rd longest, 3rd and 4th only emar- 
ginated) confirmed this, and it weighed 11. 2 gat 1130; wing-length 71 mm. 

Acrocephalus baetlcatus, African Reed Warbler: The African Reed Warbler 
was included in the recent Checklist (Urban & Brown 1971) on the basis of a 
specimen I collected in 1970. There are now records of six more birds from 
two localities, and it seems appropriate to summarize these here as they 
represent a notable eastwards extension of the species' known range. 

Summary of records in chronological order: 



Date 


Wing (mm) 


Weigh 


Hi) 


Time 


Locality 


zz April 70 


55 


7-4 




0930 


Bahadu 


13 March 71 


55 


7-3 




1630 


Koka 


3 May 71 


55 


8.0 




1630 


Bahadu 


6 May 71 


56 


8.1 




0800 


Bahadu 


7 May 71* 


55 


8.1 




0800 


Bahadu 


23 November 71 


57 


8.0 




1030 


Bahadu 


27 March 72 


56 


7-9 




0730 


Koka 


2 April 72 


58 


7-9 




0830 


Koka 


4 April 72 


56** 


7-5 




0730 


Koka 



*Retrap of the bird caught on 3rd May 1971. 
**Retrap of the bird caught on 27th March 1972. 

Bahadu (io° 05' N, 40 37' E) is an area of permanent marshland on a 
flood-plain on the River Awash, where it flows through the western Danakil 
desert in eastern Ethiopia, close to Gewani in Harar Province. The area at 
Koka (8° 27' N, 39 06' E), in the Rift Valley in Shoa Province, is thick 
lakeside acacia bush. 

The first Ethiopian specimen was deposited in the British Museum where 
it was determined by Mrs. B. P. Hall as agreeing with the western form A. b. 
clnnamomeus. Prior to the discovery of the species in Senegal, its northern 
range was only known to extend from the region of Lake Chad to the Nile 



Valley. With its occurrence in Ethiopia and Senegal its range extends across 
the width of Africa, although there is still a large gap between the Senegal 
and Nigerian localities. 

The species is apparently rare in Ethiopia, for these are the only examples 
found in spite of intensive trapping and observation at Bahadu, Koka and 
other suitable localities at different seasons of the year. Because of their small 
size they may elude capture by slipping through all except small mesh mist 
nets, and so may be more numerous than the captures indicate. 

Lonchura fringilloides, Magpie Mannikin: Two birds seen together briefly 
on 24th July 1 97 1 at Didessa (9 02' N, 3 6° 09' E) were judged to be this 
species. Two nets were placed in the vicinity, and caught three together later 
in the day. None of this species has been seen since during several visits 
extending over many weeks at different times of the year. Identification of 
one bird has been confirmed by Mrs. B. P. Hall at the British Museum. The 
weights of the three birds at 1400 were: 19.8, 21 .3 and 20.2 g, and all had 
wing-lengths of 63 mm and were moulting their remiges. 

The actual locality was on the plateau just above the east side of the 
Didessa River gorge in high grass {Hyparrhenia sp.) in a large area of cleared 
CombretumlTerminalia woodland. There were a very few scattered trees 
remaining. Mackworth-Praed & Grant (1955) give the range of the species 
in East Africa as southern Sudan, Uganda and Kenya to the Zambesi and 
Zanzibar Island; its range extends westwards as far as Senegal. 
Summary: The first known occurences in Ethiopia of Calidris melanotos, 
Chlorocichla flavicollis, Locustella fluviatilis, Phylloscopus sibilatrix, Acrocephalus 
baeticatus and Lonchura fringilloides are detailed. 

Acknowledgements : I wish to extend my thanks to Dr. George E. Watson 
of the Smithsonian Institution and to Dr. J. R. Schmidt of U.S. Naval 
Medical Research Unit No. 3, Field Facility, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, under 
whose auspices this work was undertaken, and whom together with Mr. 
K. D. Smith commented on a draft of these notes; also to Mr. Derek Good- 
win and Mrs. B. P. Hall of the British Museum (Natural History), through 
the courtesy of Dr. D. W. Snow, for their comments on the specimens they 
examined. 

References : 

Brown, L. H. & Urban, E. K. 1970. Bird and mammal observations from the forests of 

southwest Ethiopia. Waalia 2: 13-40. 
Dowsett, R. J. & Fry, C. H. 1971. Weight losses of trans-Saharan migrants. Ibis 113: 

531-533- 
Ginn, P. J. G. & Brooke, R. K. 1971. The American Pectoral Sandpiper in Africa. Bull. 

Brit. Orn. CI. 91: 125-126. 
Kemp, A. C. 1972. A further southern African report of the American Pectoral Sandpiper. 

Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 92: 23. 
Mackworth-Praed, C. W. & Grant, C. H. B. 1955. African handbook of birds. Series I, Vol. 2. 

London: Longmans. 
Urban, E. K. & Brown, L. H. 1971. A checklist of the birds of Ethiopia. Addis Ababa: Haile 

Selassie I University Press. 

Possible Female Hybrids 
between Bucephala islandica and clangula 

by Jon Fjeldsa 

Received 2nd October 1972 
Three seasons of field work at Lake Myvatn, Iceland, aroused my interest 
in the status of the Common Goldeneye Bucephala clangula in that area. State- 

6 



ments in the literature referring to this species breeding in Iceland are un- 
reliable, and based mainly on one very doubtful sight record, and one 
wrongly identified specimen (Gardarsson 1968). However, in recent years 
males have been found to winter regularly in south-west Iceland and may be 
seen there together with unidentified females, or immature birds. It appears 
further from the intensive ornithological investigation of Lake Myvatn since 
i960 (Gardarsson 1968, S. A. Bengtson, pers. com., J. Fjeldsa) that some 
males are present there every summer, mainly in flocks of male Barrow's 
Goldeneyes Bucephala islandica. I have never seen males of the Common 
Goldeneye mated to a female or defending territories in Myvatn. Neverthe- 
less, I deemed it worth while to make a thorough search for female Common 
Goldeneyes or hybrid specimens in the large series from Myvatn at the 
Zoological Museum of the University of Copenhagen, collected mainly by 
R. Hjorring and G. Dinesen at the turn of the century. All measurements 
given below are from the Copenhagen collections. 

At the first examination in September 1971 one female was put aside as 
a possible hybrid. After having read about a hybrid male B. islandica x clangula 
seen in Myvatn in 1970 by Bengtson (1972), I resumed my revision of the 
collection. Among a total of 288 Goldeneyes examined, two may be hybrids. 
These are a juvenile 9, Merrymeeting Bay, Maine, U.S.A. 30.10.1922 (ZMUC 
69022) and an adult $, Myvatn, Iceland, 27.6.1907 (ZMUC 59275). So far 
only hybrid males have been described in the literature (Snyder 1953: 
Schultz 1958: Jackson 1959: Bengtson 1972), probably because possible 
female hybrids will be virtually indistinguishable. 

Skins of female and juvenile Common and Barrow's Goldeneyes are very 
similar in general appearance although there are several slight differences, 
discussed particularly by Brooks (1920). Barrow's are generally larger. In 
adult females the average wing length is 215^3 mm, as against 211^4 mm 
in B. clangula americana, and 199:^6 mm in B. clangula clangula. Generally, the 
female Barrow's have slightly darker heads with a slight purplish lustre; the 
neck is less white; the grey bar across the breast is broader; on the frontal 
median wing coverts the white fringes are mainly 5 mm broad, while in the 
Common Goldeneye some feathers have 8 mm long white tips. In juvenile 
Barrow's the corresponding feathers are fringed with light or pale mouse 
grey, not whitish. The black tipping of the greater wing coverts is an un- 
reliable distinction. The most clear cut difference is the colour and the shape 
of the bill. In the female Barrow's pink coloration extends backwards to 
below the nostril. Seen from above the bill is more tapering. The ratio of 
bill-width adjacent to the posterior angle of the nostrils, to the width, 5 mm 
anterior to nostrils, averages 1.26^0.05, while in the Common Goldeneye 
it averages 1.09 ±0.03. There is a slight overlap. There is a lump on the 
culmen, anterior to the nostrils, although this character is shown also by 
some Goldeneyes. According to Ridgway (1887) the ratio of the height of 
the upper mandible at the base to the length, from loral feather edge to 
anterior edge of nostrils (see Fig.) > is 1 in Barrow's, < 1 in the Common 
Goldeneyes. The reliability of this character is disproved by Brooks (1920) 
and in the present paper (ratio C/D in Figure). The bill nail of adult Barrow's 
is 6.8 - 10.8, averaging 8.8^0.7 mm wide, rounded to form a noticeable 
lump, while narrower 3.7 - 6.9, averaging 5.3±o.6 mm, more parallel- 
sided and flat in Common Goldeneyes. The number of lamellae in the 
mandible (which cannot be counted accurately as most anterior ones are 
rudimentary) is 29-33, averaging 31.0m Barrow's, while at 33 - 37, in Com- 



1.0-1 



0.9- 



0.8- 



5 

o 



0.7 



^oiH 



a5- 



oA- 





Bucephala islandica 







%&? 




Bucephala clangula 



I? 



IT h 

Ratio C/D 



Figure 

Scatter diagram for the relative height of the bill (C/D) and the relative breadth of the bill 
nail (A/B) of Barrow's (solid symbols) and Common Goldeneyes (open symbols) examined. 
Pulli, juveniles and adults are lumped together. It is indicated on the drawing of the Bar- 
row's bill, how the measurements were taken. Two possible hybrid females are indicated 
by figures i and 2. 

mon Goldeneyes it averages 35.3. Gardarsson (1968, fig 1) separated the 
species by plotting the width of the bill nail against the width of the bill, 
adjacent to the anterior end of the nostrils. As the bill is more tapering in 
Barrow's, I found the ratio of bill nail width, to the width between the 
anterior angle of the nostrils, a still more reliable character. The distance 
between the nostrils is similar in both species. In the diagram all specimens 
examined, including pulli and juveniles, are plotted according to the above 
mentioned ratio, and the ratio of Ridgway. It is indicated on the drawing of 
the Barrow's bill, how the measurements are taken. Sliding callipers, ac- 
curacy 0.1 mm, were used. Specimens found near the dividing line were 
measured up to ten times. Specimens which are by colour of bill and plumage, 
best referred to Barrow's, are plotted by solid symbols, those best referred 
to Common Goldeneye, by open symbols. 



The two species appear to be well separated in this way. The dots at the 
top of each "dot-swarm", are mainly downy young, or juveniles not fully 
grown, and deserve therefore, less attention. Only two specimens already 
mentioned remain problematic by an odd combination of bill- and plumage- 
characters. These are indicated by figures on the diagram. 

Specimen No. i, ad. $ from Myvatn (ZMUC 59275), with brood patch' 
would be placed with "islandicd" on colour and a wing length of 217 mm. It 
corresponds well to other islandica females shot in midsummer. The white 
edges of the median wing coverts average 6. 5 mm wide, i.e. slightly more 
than in islandica; but still the closed wing gives a more black and white 
variegated, less white appearance. However, the bill nail is only 6 . 8 mm 
wide (ratio A/B o . 70), elevated, but with distinct parallel sides ; the bill has 
not the typical tapering; ratio of bill width adjacent to posterior angle of 
nostrils to the bill-width, 5 mm anterior to nostrils, is 1 . 18, which is at the 
lower extreme of Barrow's. The mandible has 34 lamellae, and this is the 
largest number found in specimens labelled as Barrow's. 

Specimen No. 2, juv. $ from Maine (ZMUC 69022), has mainly "clangula 
americana" characters; wing length 209 mm; narrower breast bar; the median 
wing coverts with 4 mm wide tops of greyish white; the larger coverts with 
narrow fuscous tips ; bill sides parallel, although the ratio given for tapering 
is 1 . 14, which is at the upper extreme of Common Goldeneye. The nail is 
6.8 mm broad (ratio A/B 0.76), and the mandible has 34 lamellae. 

Among two hybrid males collected (Snyder 1953; Jackson 1959), one had 
a bill corresponding to that of the Myvatn $, the other one a bill corres- 
ponding to the Maine juv. 9- 

Judging from these combinations of characters the above females may be 
hybrids, although this cannot, of course, be stated with certainty. They have 
one thing in common. They are from regions where only one Goldeneye 
species is known to breed definitely, but where the other species is a regular 
visitor. This applies also to the male hybrids described in the literature 
(British Columbia, Seattle, New Brunswick, Myvatn). Barrow's Goldeneye 
breeds mainly on the Pacific Coast and in the Rocky Mountains of Canada; 
while in the coniferous zone east of the mountains it is replaced by the 
Common Goldeneye; and there are very localised populations of Barrow's 
only north of the timber line in northern Labrador, and maybe in the 
Godthab district in West Greenland, and 800-1,000 pairs at Lake Myvatn. 
No abnormal specimens were found in the series from east of the Atlantic, 
where stragglers of Barrow's are extremely rare. Thus, hybrids may arise 
occasionally by males forming mixed pairs in regions where they do not find 
conspecific prospective mates. 

Thanks are due to Mrs. F. M. Benson and to Mr. R. Wagstaffe, for kindly checking the 
text of this paper, and to Dr. F. Salomonsen for critical discussion. 

References : 

Bengtson, S. A. 1972. An apparent hybrid between Barrow's Goldeneye Bucephala islandica 

and the Common Goldeneye B. clangula in Iceland. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 92: 1 00-101. 
Brooks, A. 1920. Notes on some American ducks. Auk 37: 353-367. 
Gardarsson, A. 1968. Hvinendur a fslandi og nokkur ord um akvordun hvinendar. Nat- 

turufraedingum 37: 76-92. 
Jackson, M. F. 1959. A hybrid between Barrow's and Common Goldeneyes. Auk 76. 92-94. 
Ridgway, R. 1887. A manual of North American Birds. Philadelphia, 631 pp., 124 plates. 
Schultz, Z. M. 1958. Sight record of a hybrid male goldeneye. Murrelet 38: 11. 
Snyder, L. L. 1953. An apparently hybrid goldeneye. Wilson Bull. 65 : 199. 
B o 



The Cape Eagle Owl Bubo capensis in Mocambiquc 

by H. D. Jackson 

Received 13th October 1972 
When Benson & Irwin (1967) reviewed the distribution and systematics of 
Bubo capensis, the species had not been recorded satisfactorily in Mocambique. 
It had, however, been taken in the Inyanga highlands of Rhodesia not far 
from the Mozambique border and this led Clancey (1971) to postulate its 
occurrence along the entire mountainous part of the Mozambique/Rhodesia 
frontier area. This frontier includes the Chimanimani Mountains, a rugged 
range of quartzite and micaceous schist, and when visiting these mountains 
in May 1972 I indeed heard B. capensis calling near the Mevumosi River in 
Mogambique (Jackson, in press). Confirmation of its presence in the Chimani- 
mani Mountains was obtained when I secured a specimen on nth August 
1972 near the Mucrera River, Mozambique, at 19 53' S., 33 03' E., and 
altitude 1,500 m. Two or three pairs were heard calling frequently within 
5 km of my camp during the four weeks that I was there. 

The specimen is an adult female taken in breeding condition, the largest 
oocyte measuring 6 mm and the brood patch being devoid of feathers. Wing 
(409 mm) and tail (232 mm) measurements together with the reduction of 
barring on the lower abdomen and thighs show it to be B. c. mackinderi as 
would be expected on distributional grounds (see Benson & Irwin, 1967). 
It weighed 1,540 g (to the nearest g on an Ohaus Dial-O-Matic). 

An entire leg of the Red Rock Hare Pronolagus crassicaudatus was found in 
the bird's oesophagus; I am obliged to V. J. Wilson, National Museum, 
Bulawayo, for confirming the identity of the prey. The enormous foot of 
B. capensis suggests that it habitually preys on animals of this size; the maxi- 
mum spread of the toes, measured in life from the tip of the middle claw to 
the tip of the hind claw, was 103 mm. Its foot is considerably larger than that 
of B. africanus and is comparable with that of the African Hawk Eagle Aquila 
fascia fa. Bubo capensis is clearly a highly rapacious species. 

References : 

Benson, C. W. & Irwin, M. P. S. 1967. The distribution and systematics of Bubo capensis 
Smith (Aves). Arnoldia {Rhodesia) 3(19). 

Clancey, P. A. 197 1. A handlist of the birds of southern Mocambique. Mems Inst. Invest. 
Cient. Mocamb. A, 10: 145-303; 11: 1-167. 

Jackson, H. D. In press. Sight records of some birds and mammals in the central Chimani- 
mani Mountains of Mocambique and Rhodesia. Durban Mus. Novit. 

The breeding seasons of birds in the 
Arusha National Park, Tanzania 

by J. S. S. Bee sky 

Received 4th October 1972 
INTRODUCTION 

This paper is intended to be a companion to a paper by Beesley (in press), 
in which the birds and their habitats in this area were described in detail. 
Breeding records were few, however, and during the thirteen months be- 
tween 1st April 1971 and 30th April 1972 a great deal of effort was put into 
finding nests. Of the 1,255 records in the present paper, 70% were found 
during this period. It was fortunately a fairly typical period weather-wise, 
and in other "normal" years the breeding seasons should be similar. 



All nests recorded were seen and inspected by myself, although most of 
those seen after ist April 1971 were found by members of the staff of the 
Arusha National Park, and I am especially indebted to the efforts of Chacha 
Mangeny, Silvesta Matacha, Sifaeli Mangure, Shauri Sandu and Anton 
Wambura. For comments and advice on this paper I am grateful to Sir Hugh 
Elliott and C. W. Benson. 

The specific data are summarized by months in tables and the method used 
by Benson (1963) has been followed, in which each record has been referred 
to the month when egg-laying was calculated to have commenced. All records 
are based on eggs or nestlings, except in some cases when small nidifugous 
young were seen. Records of colonial breeders (marked in the tables by "C") 
have been treated collectively, e.g. one colony of fifteen pairs of nesting 
swifts would be set down as one record. At the foot of each table, of which 
there is one for each of seven groups, the records have been converted into 
percentages which are rounded off to the next whole number, i.e. 6.12 
would be entered as 7. Any percentage less than five is omitted and peak 
figures are shown in bold. Rainy seasons have been outlined by vertical lines 
enclosing them. The nomenclature follows Mackworth-Praed & Grant 

(1952-55)- 

THE PHYSICAL BACKGROUND AND OTHER FACTORS 

The following short description is based on Beesley (in press). The Arusha 
National Park has an area of about 130 sq. km, and is situated on the eastern 
side of Mt. Meru, in north-eastern Tanzania at ca. 3 15. S., 37 00' E. 
Altitude ranges from 1,400 m to 4,560 m, resulting in many habitats, which 
are listed below: — 

1. Forest and closed woodland ranging from a dry evergreen forest at 
1,450 m to a wetter montane forest up to 2,600 m. 

2. Lakes and swamps, either alkaline or fresh, at 1,500 m. 

3. Secondary woodlands with an understorey of scrub represented by 
three main types all within an altitidunal range of 1,400 m to 1,700 m 
as follows : — 

a. Groves of Acacia xanthophloea. 

b. Scattered remnant cedar trees Juniperus procera with an understorey 
of Do done a vis cos a scrub. 

c. Copses of Croton macrostachyus with an understorey of "sage-bush". 

4. "Sage-bush" : A mixture of several species of soft, aromatic shrubs and 
scattered trees with a ground herbage of tussock grasses which re- 
places destroyed forest below 1,700 m. 

5 . Heath zone at 2,300 to 3,000 m, above which is almost bare rock. 

6. A diversity of small but important habitats : Streams, rain-water pools, 
lake shores, grassland, forest-edge, buildings, cliffs and river/road 
banks. 

It should be noted that a very large proportion of the nests were found 
below 1,700 m in types 3 and 4. 

The climate is characterized by two rainy seasons, the short rains of 
November and December and the long rains of mid-March to early June. 
The short rains are generally light and occur when temperatures are tising 
They are followed by the short dry season of January, February and early 
March, a period which is, however, seldom rainless but is the warmest time 
of the year. The long rains are heavy and temperatures begin to drop in mid- 
April. June to August is the coolest time, with mist and cloud usually 
occurring until late morning, sometimes accompanied by light showers. 
September and October are the dryest months, although a little rain is 



recorded, and temperatures begin to rise in September. At this latitude day- 
light length varies minimally and its effect on birds can be discounted. The 
following figures show the rainfall at a station in the Park at 1,700 m for the 
year 1st May 1971 to 30th April 1972, and the mean monthly temperatures 
ofArusha township which lies at 1,400 m on the southern slope of Mt.Meru: — 

M J J I A S O N D J F MA 
Rainfall (mm) 312 90 57 37 14 7 100 100 10 64 243 243 

Temperature (C.) 19 18 17 17 19 21 21-5 21-5 21 22 21-5 21 

The results of this comparatively equable climate is that the vegetation 
remains green for most of the year, very few of the trees losing their leaves 
and the grass drying up for only one to two months. Due to a policy of fire- 
protection, fires have been very limited in number and extent for several 
years. There are two periods of grass-growth with the two rainy seasons, the 
main growth being during the long rains. The variety of tree species and 
habitats probably results in several flushes of leaf-growth. Flowers, fruit and 
cover are always available, and insects, while not appearing in a sudden, 
remarkable flush with the first rains as in dryer areas, are always abundant, 
more so during the rains and less so during the cold season of June to 
August. 

The foregoing is in contrast to some other areas in Africa, e.g. Zambia, 
where the seasons are much more clearly defined, and the nesting data 
presented here are therefore much more difficult to interpret. It is evident, 
especially with closely related species, that detailed knowledge of food 
requirements, both for parents and their young, would help explain their 
breeding seasons. 

BREEDING RECORDS IN TABLES BY GROUPS 

The seven groupings used by Benson (1963 : 624) are followed, but not in 
the same order. The Nectariniidae are included either in the Forest group or 
Miscellaneous groups because of their diverse habitats and breeding seasons. 

TABLE 1 WATER AND SWAMP BIRDS 

Records by months 
Species 



Poliocephalus ruficollis 
Ephippiorhynchus 

senegalensis * 
Hagedashia hagedash 
Thalassornis leuconotus 
Aythya erythrophthalma 
Anas sparsa 
Anas capensis 
Anas punctata 
Anas erythrorhynchus 
Alopochen aegyptiacus 
Plectropterus gambensis 
Limnocorax flavirostra 
Gallinula chloropus 
Fultca cristata 
Actophilornis africanus 
Balearica regulorum 
Motacilla clara 
Cisticola galac totes 

Totals 

Percentages 



No. 


/ 


F 


M 


A 


M 


/ 


Jl 


A 


S 


O 


N D 


recs. 








rains 














rains 


17 


1 


1 




2 




2 


4 


2 






1 


2 








1 














1 


2 






1 


















6 


1 














1 




3 


1 


1 












1 












1 












1 












3 


















2 






1 
















1 








4 


1 




1 










2 








9 






1 






2 


1 


2 


2 






9 




1 


2 


1 




3 












3 


1 




1 








1 










2 






2 


















3 
















1 


2 






28 








11 


11 




3 




1 


1 


1 


5 




1 


2 


2 
















3 




1 
















2 




5 










2 


1 










1 1 


104 


4 


4 


10 


17 


22 


10 


9 


9 


7 


6 


4 2 








10 


17 


22 


10 


9 


9 


7 


6 





TABLE 


2 RAPTORS 












2 


2 














2 


1 1 














5 


1 2 


1 


1 










19 1 


3 2 5 


3 




2 


2 




1 


2 










1 


1 




1 








1 








1 






1 










32 1 


5 5 7 


4 


2 


3 


3 


1 


1 




16 16 22 


13 


7 


10 


10 







Aquila rapax 
Terathopius ecaudatus * 
Cuncuma vocifer * 
Buteo rufofuscus 
Buteo oreophilus * 
Falco peregrinus 
Bubo lacteus 

Totals 

Percentages 

* — all records from the same nest in different years 

Water and Swamp Birds (Table i): There are no records of the Ardeidae 
and few of the smaller Anatidae and Rallidae, but such as there are show a 
long season of seven months during the long rains and following months 
when non-permanent water-levels are still high (there are very few records 
from the permanent alkaline lakes), thus agreeing with Benson (1963). 
Naturally the length of the season varies with the amount of rainfall, and the 
three records of Thalassornis kuconotus in October were obtained in a year of 
high rainfall when the fresh- water pools remained for long at a high level. 
The Rallidae, also Poliocephalus ruficollis and Actophilornis africanus, all of 
whose numbers fluctuate considerably during the year and from year to year, 
have some diversity in their collective breeding times depending on the rain- 
fall, although P. ruficollis, which is always present, shows a definite peak from 
April to August. The resident pair each of Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis and 
Balearica regulorutn appear to keep to one rather short season. Moticilla clara, 
whose habitat is perennial streams, has two breeding periods similar to the 
insectivorous birds (Table 6) in October and February, thus differing from 
most other water-birds. Cisticolagalactotes is difficult to place, perhaps because 
of inadequate data. 

Raptors (Table 2): Here, despite the few records, there seem to be two 
seasons indicated. Aquila rapax, Terathopius ecaudatus, Cuncuma vocifer (of 
which there is only one pair of each in the Park) and most of the Buteo 
rufofuscus lay from March to June to rear young in the damp, cool months of 
June to August, while Falco peregrinus, Buteo oreophilus and a few of the 
B. rufofuscus lay from August to October and rear young in the warm, dry or 
warm, wet period before and during the short rains. It is difficult to see the 
advantage of laying in the earlier, wetter part of the year, as feeding nestlings 
takes place while cover to conceal the prey is still thick. The prey-cover factor 
does not affect C. vocifer but B. rufofuscus preys mainly on mole-rats Tachyoryctes 
sp. in the Park. Perhaps these animals surface more frequently when the 
soil is damp and sticky. The data for A. rapax and T. ecaudatus are equally 
puzzling. There are plenty of adult grasshoppers and juveniles of grass- 
nesting birds at this season, but reptilia and small mammals must be difficult 
to see. Certainly these two species hunt a great deal in the dryer short-grass 
plains beyond the Park borders, where A. rapax also breeds at this season. 
Possibly the Park A. rapax follow the rhythmn of those extra-territorial birds. 
Referring to Benson (1963) and Benson et. al (1964), in Rhodesia and Zambia 
A. rapax lays in the dry season in contrast to the Park birds, but there is 
agreement in T. ecaudatus laying during the rains. The owl, Bubo lacteus, fed 
its nestling during September and October, when some ground cover had 
dried or withered, and rising temperatures would have increased the activity 
of prey. 

13 



Grass Birds (Table 3): The majority of the records show, as may be 
expected, that nesting takes place after the short rains and during the long 
rains when the grass has grown, providing nesting material, cover and food. 
With a few species there is some indication of two peaks. The Cisticolas, also 
Chloropeta natalensis, Prima subflava and Melocichla mentalis, are mainly long 
rain breeders, but occasionally nest in the short rains. 



TABLE 3 GRASS BIRDS 

Records by months 
J F M A M J J I A S O N D 



recs. 








rains 












rains 


2 






1 














: 1 


11 








5 


5 


1 










4 






2 


2 














5 






2 


1 












1 1 


15 




2 


2 


1 


5 


2 


3 








3 




1 


2 
















16 


1 






3 


6 


2 


3 






1 


7 






2 


1 


2 






2 






4 




1 


2 


1 














5 




2 


2 


1 














8 


1 






1 


1 






1 


2 


1 1 


14 


3 






1 




1 


1 




5 


3 


15 


1 


3 


1 


1 


1 


5 


1 




1 


1 


6 


1 


1 




1 


2 










1 


2 








1 


1 












12 


3 


1 


1 


5 


2 












5 


1 


1 








1 




1 




1 


8 


2 


1 


1 




1 


2 


' 


L 






3 


1 










1 


1 








4 












3 


1 








14 




1 


2 


2 


4 


5 










163 


14 


14 


20 


27 


30 


23 


10 1 


I 4 


8 


7 5 




9 


9 


12 


17 


19 


14 


6 




5 


5 



Species No. 



Centropus superciliosus 
Chloropeta natalensis 
Cisticola chiniana 
Cisticola woosnami 
Cisticola cantans 
Cisticola brachyptera 
Prinia subflava 
Melocichla mentalis 
Ploceus spekei C 

Ploceus intermedins C 
Ploceus castaneiceps C 
Hyphanturgus ocularis 
Othyphantes reichenowi 
Amblysopi^a albifrons C 
Euplectes capensis 
Coliuspasser laticauda 
Spermestes cucullatus 
Spermestes nigriceps 
Lagonosticta rubricata 
Coccopygia melanotis 
Estrilda astrild 

Totals 

Percentages 



Numida mitrata 
Francolinus hildebranti 
Francolinus squamatus 
Burhinus capensis 
Charadrius pecuarius 
Charadrius tricollaris 
Stephanibyx coronatus 
Hoplopterus armatus 
Caprimulgus fraenatus * 
Caprimulgus poliocephalus 
Caprimulgus fossil 
Mirafra africana 
Ant bus si mi lis 
Macronyx aurantiigula 
Saxicola torquata 

Totals 

Percentages 

* — This name follows White (1965) 

Of the Ploceidae, Ambljospi^a albifrons and Coliuspasser laticauda begin to 

nest in the short dry season and continue until the end of the long rains, but 

Ploceus spekei, P. intermedius and Euplectes capensis have one short season, 

almost entirely during the long rains. Ploceus spekei and P. intermedius are 

14 



TABLE 4 


GROUND 


BIRDS 












6 3 


1 1 












1 


2 






1 


1 








12 1 






2 


5 


2 




2 


3 1 


1 






1 








13 2 1 


1 


2 




4 


1 


2 




6 1 1 




1 1 


2 










2 






1 


1 








9 


2 


6 1 












8 1 2 


2 






1 


1 


1 




5 










2 


3 




1 








1 








4 1 


1 1 1 














13 2 2 


3 2 


1 






2 




1 


7 2 2 


1 


1 




1 








18 3 2 








2 


4 


4 


3 


109 11 16 


8 4 5 


9 4 


6 


17 


12 


10 


7 


11 14 


7 5 


9 


6 


16 


12 


10 


7 



conspicuous colonial nesters, and any nesting at other times would not have 
been missed. Perhaps as with Quelea spp. the young are fed much on young 
grass seeds, or the type of grass used for building does not attain sufficient 
length until late in the rains. Ploceus castaneiceps, Hyphanturgus ocularis and 
Othyphantes reichenowi probably breed at any time of the year, contrasting 
markedly with the other Ploceidae. Estrilda astrild breeds almost entirely in 
the long rains, and Coccopygia melanotis follows at the end of the rains in 
rather cool conditions. 

Ground Birds (Table 4) : The two dryest periods of the year, January- 
February and September-October, serve as the main breeding seasons for 
these birds as a whole, although probably due to the porous, quick-draining 
soil of the Park, some breeding takes place even during the rains. Some 
species apparently have only one breeding season, and others, for example the 
Caprimulgidae, have two, both avoiding the rains. Hoplopterus armatus is 
noteworthy, laying in the cool damp month of June to rear young in cold 
July. Mirafra africana resembles the grass-birds in breeding during the long 
rains, thus agreeing with Benson (1963). However, Macronyx aurantiigula 
records differ from the Macronyx species of further south (Benson et al. 1964) 
in nesting mainly outside the rains. Macronyx aurantiigula and Mirafra africana 
both occupy similar habitats in the same areas of the Park, bush-scattered 
and/or tussock grassland. Saxicola torquata has an extended season of six 
months when, it would appear, two broods are raised. Evidently it can breed 
in the short rains, but not the long rains. 



TABLE 5 FOREST BIRDS 

Records by months 



Species 



Tympanistria tympanistria 
Tauraco hartlaubi 
Halcyon albiventris 
Melittophagus oreobates 
Tockus alboterminatus 
Lybius melanopterus 
Buccanodon leucotis 
Ari^elocichla nigriceps 
Ari^elocichla milanjensis * 
Alseonax adustus 
Tchitrea viridis 
T urdus olivaceus 
Cossypha semirufa 
Seicercus umbrovirens 
Psalidoprocne holomelaena 
Dryoscopus cubla 
Pholia sharpii 
Onychognathus walleri 
Stilbospar kenricki 
Zosterops eurycricotus 
Nectarinia taca^e 
Cinnyris mediocria 
Cyanomitra olivacea 
Nigrita canicapilla 
Serinus burtoni * 

Totals 



No. 


/ 


F 


M 


A 


M 


/ fl 


A 


S 





N D 


recs. 








rains 












rains 


1 








1 














8 


1 






1 






1 


1 


1 


2 1 


6 




1 


1 




1 






2 




1 


4 
















2 




2 


1 
















1 






12 


1 


1 


1 




1 


1 




2 


2 


3 


20 


3 










2 


1 


2 


9 


3 


3 
















1 


1 


1 


2 












1 


1 








6 


2 


1 














3 




13 




2 


1 










1 


3 


2 4 


3 








1 








1 


1 




2 






1 


1 














1 




















1 


5 








1 






1 


2 




1 


2 
















1 


1 




1 


















1 




2 
















2 






12 


1 






1 


2 




1 


1 


5 


1 


2 










1 










1 


4 


2 


















2 


4 
















1 


2 


1 


5 


1 


2 


1 














1 


4 














2 


1 


1 




2 




















2 


125 


11 


7 


5 


6 


5 


1 3 


7 


21 


30 


17 12 




9 


6 




5 






6 


17 


24 


14 10 



Percentages 

- Records based on obesrvation of food and nesting material being varried 

!5 



Forest Birds (Table 5): The breeding season of the majority of this type 
agree with comments by Moreau (1950) and Benson (1963) in that there is 
one fairly well-defined season avoiding the heavy rains. Nesting begins in 
September when the forest is comparatively dry and the temperature starts 
to rise. Maximum laying is in October, which is warmer, and most young 
are being fed on the flush of insects during the rains of No vember and December. 
There are a few apparent exceptions. Alseonax adustus and Tchitrea viridis have 
a second season in January, February and March, and Cyanomitra olivacea has 
its only season at this time. 



TABLE 6 INSECT AND FRUIT EATING BIRDS OF 
WOODLAND AND SECONDARY BUSH 



Species 



No. 



Records by months 
F M A M J J I A S O N D 



Eurystomus glaucurus 


10 














3 


4 


3 




Halcyon chelicuti 


5 




1 


1 








2 




1 




Melittophagus bullockoides C 


6 












1 1 


2 




2 




Melittophagus pusillus 


9 












1 1 


1 


4 


2 




Phoeniculus purpureus 


3 




1 










2 








Rhinopomastus cyanomelas 


2 




1 














1 




Colius striatus 


72 


12 


15 


9 


14 


1 


1 


3 


4 


11 


2 


Lybius leucocephalus 


2 


2 




















Tricholaema lacbrymosum 


48 


8 


12 


11 


1 


2 


1 1 


2 


3 


6 


1 


Campethera nubica 


5 




1 










1 2 


1 






Campethera abingoni 


2 


1 


1 


















Dendropicos fuscescens 


1 


















1 




Thripias namaquus 


3 










1 


1 


1 








Mesopicos goertae 


3 














2 


1 






Motacilla aguimp 


4 


1 




1 






1 


1 








Pycnonotus barbatus 


155 


33 


38 


19 


8 


12 




1 7 


16 


19 


2 


Dioptrornis fischeri 


33 


12 


3 


1 


3 






5 


7 


1 


1 


Batis molitor 


8 


2 


1 












2 


3 




Apalis flavida 


25 






1 


1 


5 


1 


2 6 


8 




1 


Phyllolais pulchella * 


2 














1 




1 




Sylvietta whytii 


10 


1 




1 








2 


2 


2 


2 


Camaroptera brevicaudata 


4 








3 




1 










Campephaga sulphur at a 


3 








1 












2 


Nilaus afer 


1 














1 








Lanius collaris 


25 


4 


3 


5 


1 




2 


1 


4 


3 


2 


Laniarius aethiopicus 


7 


1 


2 


1 




1 






2 






Tchagra senegala 


4 




1 








1 






1 


1 


Tchagra aus trails 


14 




3 


5 




1 


2 


1 






2 


Chlorophoneus sulfureopectus 


2 


1 














1 






Par us fringlllinus 


3 


1 












2 








Orlolus larvatus 


6 








1 


1 




1 


2 


1 




Onychognathus morlo 


6 




2 


1 












2 


1 


Buphagus africanus 


2 


2 




















Buphagus erythrorhynchus 


7 


2 


1 












2 


2 




Totals 


492 


83 


86 


56 


33 


24 


10 6 


5 47 


63 


62 


17 


Percentages 




17 


18 


12 


7 


5 




10 


13 


13 






* _ 


- Nest-bui 


lding observe 


d only 











Insect and Fruit-eating Birds of Woodland and Bush (Table 6) : The two 
seasons are exemplified well here, one before and during the first part of the 
short rains and the other in the hot, short dry season and beginning of the 

16 



long rains. Of the birds for which there are sufficient records, 60% have two 
seasons and 36% have one main season with a few nestings at other times. 
Only one bird, the migrant Eurystomus glaucurus, has one definite season. It 
arrives in August and leaves in January-February. No other species in this 
table is known to be migratory. 

Species with the most records have their maximum breeding during the 
second period, i.e. in the short dry spell preceding the long rains, but a few 
show preference for the first period, i.e. before and during the early part of 
the short rains. In the case of Pycnonotus barbatus there is an indication of a 
slight recrudescence of nesting in May, but this may relate to a second 
attempt by nest-predated birds. 

It is interesting that Thripias namaquus starts nesting in May, thus avoiding 
competition with other Picidae. The two species of Meropidae begin during 
the cold damp months of June and July. Also it is surprising that Apalis 
fiavida has its second peak in May, rearing young in the cool month of June. 



TABLE 7 MISCELLANEOUS GROUPS 

Records by months 



Species 



Columba arquatrix 
Streptopelia semitorquata 
Streptopelia Ingens 
Streptopelia capicola 
Stigmatopelia senegalensis 
Treron australis 
Agapornis fischeri 
Apus caffer 
Apus niansae C 
Apus horus C 
Hirundo abyssinica 
Hirundo senegalensis 
Hirundo smithii 
Pytonoprogne fuligula 
Riparia plaudicola C 
Serinus flavivertex 
Serinus striolatus 
Carduelis citrinelloides 
Nectarinia kilimensis 
Chalcomitra amethystina 
Chalcomitra senegalensis 
Anthreptes collar is 
Cinnyris venustus 

Totals 

Percentages 



No. 


/ 


F 


M 


A 


M 


/ 


// 


A 


S 


AT D 


recs. 








rains 












rains 


4 










1 








3 




39 


2 


5 


5 


2 


4 


3 


1 


1 


3 8 


4 1 


1 












1 










2 














1 


1 






1 


















1 




9 


1 


3 














1 


3 1 


7 




3 




2 






2 








1 










1 












3 








3 














5 








3 












2 


3 


1 




2 
















7 






1 


1 




2 






1 


2 


19 




2 


1 




4 


2 


1 


2 


2 5 




9 




3 


1 


2 










1 2 




7 








2 


5 












4 










1 


3 










15 


5 


3 


1 


2 


1 


1 


1 








17 


4 






3 


3 


3 








2 2 


9 


1 




1 


4 




1 






1 


1 


18 


2 




3 








1 




2 4 


3 3 


14 


1 


1 


2 


2 


2 








1 2 


2 1 


13 


2 


1 


1 


1 


1 




2 




3 


2 


44 


9 


10 


2 


4 


1 


1 


9 


4 




4 


251 


28 


31 


20 


31 


24 


17 


18 


8 


10 31 


21 12 




12 


13 


8 


13 


10 


7 


7 




13 


9 5 



, Miscellaneous Groups (Table 7) : Of the Columbidae there are only three 
species, all mainly arboreal, with sufficient records for interpretation. Treron 
australis has one season with apparently two peaks, one in November and 
another in February. Streptopelia semitorquata nests throughout the year as 
further south (Benson et al. 1964), but with peaks in October and February- 
March, months which produce abundant fruit, insects and seeds, 
c 17 



Discounting Apus caffer for which there is but one record, only two species 
of Apodidae have been found nesting in the Park. Apus horus and A. niansae 
both breed in April at the height of the long rains in high river-banks, which 
is puzzling and agrees with Benson's remarks (1963) {A. niansae also breeds 
in cliffs higher up the mountain). As these birds are colonial nesters it is 
hardly possible that they were overlooked at other times of the year. Both 
these species feed a good deal over the lakes, and perhaps there is a greater 
availablity of food over these waters at this time. A. horus bred again, at least 
during two years, in November when insect-life is known to be abundant. 

The Hirundinidae show diversity in their seasons. Ptyonoprogne fuligula 
has two, similar to birds of group 6. Riparia paludicola, like the Apodidae, 
breeds in river-banks (but lower ones) during the long rains when there is 
danger of collapsing banks, contrary to the records in Benson (1963). Hirundo 
smithii, generally using buildings, nests in any month (one nest was used for 
four broods in one year) and H. senegalensis, either taking over nests of H. 
smithii or building in trees, has the same tendency. The colder season does 
not deter these birds from nesting, so evidently insect-life is still fairly 
abundant. 

The Fringillidae are puzzling, as in Zambia and Malawi. Serinus flavivertex 
descends from the higher levels of Mt. Meru to breed among scattered 
juniper trees at 1,500 m during the wet cool months of May and June. 
Carduelis citrinelloides has two seasons, each during a rainy season, one of 
which is synchronous with S. flavivertex. Serinus striolatus begins with its 
peak in January and continues in a lesser degree for the following six months. 
C. citrinelloides and S. striolatus overlap somewhat and occupy the same 
habitat (sage-bush), but the latter tends to nest lower down in the shrubs and 
in areas where there are more grass tussocks. 

The five species of Nectariniidae collectively breed in every month and 
there is some overlapping of the peaks. The main area of overlap is in 
October and November when three species show much activity. Two of 
them, Anthreptes collaris and Chalcomitra amethystina, feed and nest mainly in 
forest-edge and woodland. Feeding appears to take place on two levels, that 
of the former in the lower storeys and of the latter in the higher storeys. The 
third, Chalcomitra senegalensis, feeds and nests to a greater extent in the low 
secondary sage-bush. Nectarinia kilimensis and Cinnyris venustus also breed in 
this latter biotope, but N. kilimensis shows a peak in April and C. venustus two 
peaks, one in January and February and another in July, both being seasons 
when several components of the sage-bush are in flower. 

CLUTCH SIZES 

Clutch size data from the period 1st April 1971 to 30th April 1972 have 
been extracted for some species, which are listed below. Comapring these 
with the figures in Benson et al. (1964), which are for Rhodesia only {pp. cit. : 
32), where records are sufficient for this purpose, some clutch sizes are in 
agreement, i.e. in the Columbidae, Caprimulgidae, Batis molitor, Cisticola 
cantans, Prinia subflava, Tchagra australis y Chlorophoneus sulfureopectus and 
Nectariniidae. Others differ in that the Park's birds have smaller clutch sizes, 
usually by one egg, i.e. in Colius striatus, Anthus similis, Macronyx spp., 
Pjcnonotis barbatus, Tchitrea viridis, Saxicola torquata, Lanius collaris, and 
Laniarius aethiopicus. 



Number of Records 





C/l 


C/2 


C/3 


Columba arquatrix 


3 






Streptopelia semitorquata 


7 


17 




Caprimttlgus fraenatus * 


1 


7 




Caprimulgus poliocepbalus 




5 




Caprimulgus fossii 




1 




Colius striatus 


4 


28 


16 


Ant bus si mi lis 




2 


9 


Macronyx aurantiigula 




2 


2 


Pycnonotus barbatus 


10 


101 


5 


Dioptrornis fiscberi 




6 


1 


Batis molitor 




4 




Tchitrea viridis 




6 




Saxicola torquata 




5 


7 


Melocicbla mentalis 


1 


4 




Apalis flavida 


2 


11 


2 


Sylvietta wbytii 




5 




Cisticola woosnami 






2 


Cisticola cantans 


2 


2 


6 


Pr/nia subflava 


2 


1 


4 


Ptyonoprogne fuligula 


1 




5 


Lanius collaris 




2 


3 


Laniarius aetbiopicus 




4 




Tchagra australis 


3 


5 


J 


Chloropboneus sulfureopectus 




2 




Nectarinia kilimensis 


3 






Cinnyris venustus 


3 


24 


3 


Anthreptes collaris 


3 


3 




C ardeuelis citrinelloides 




2 


2 


Serinm striolatus 




9 


2 



C/4 



This name follows White (1965) 



SUMMARY 

The Arusha National Park lies within a regime of two rainy seasons, the 
short rains occurring in November and December, and the long rains from 
mid-March to early June. The result is two main flushes of plant growth and 
insect-life. The dry seasons are short, cloud cover being prolonged during 
the longest of them, and the effect of drought on the vegetation is minimal. 

These conditions enable some breeding to take place throughout the year, 
and make records difficult to interpret. The breeding records are divided into 
seven categories and are listed in tables as follows : — 

i . Water and swamp birds show much diversity but have a maximum of 
breeding activity during and after the long rains. 

2. Raptors divide into two groups, one nesting early, during the long 
rains, the other later, in the ensuing dry season. Buteo rufofuscus, the 
most numerous, nests throughout both periods. 

3. Grass birds show some diversity, but some species (i.e. Cisticolas and 
Ploceidae) appear to start with the short rains, continuing with little 
break to the end of the long rains. However, some Ploceidae can 
breed at any time of the year. 

4. Ground birds usually nest during the two dry periods, but most species 
have only one breeding season. 

5 . Forest birds generally have one season, from September to December, 
before and during the short rains. 

6. In insect and fruit-eating birds of woodland and secondary bush, two 
breeding seasons show up well, one before and during the first part 
of the short rains, and the second in the hot, short, dry season and 
beginning of the long rains, 60% of the species having two seasons. 

J 9 



7. Miscellaneous groups show a considerable diversity, but nesting 
generally avoids the cold month of August and, surprisingly, the more 
congenial month of September. 

An appendix of clutch sizes is included, and some comparisons made with 
Rhodesian data. 

References : 

Beesley, J. S. S. In press. The birds of the Arusha National Park. Journ. E. Afr. Nat. Hist. 

Soc. <& Nat. Mus. 
Benson, C. W. 1963. The breeding seasons of birds in the Rhodesias and Nyasaland. Proc. 

i$th Internat. Orn. Congr. II: 623-639. 
Benson, C. W., Brooke, R. K. & Vernon, C. J. 1964. Bird breeding data for Rhodesias and 

Nyasaland. Occ. Nat. Mus. S. Rhod. 27B: 30-105. 
Mackworth-Praed, C. W. & Grant, C. H. B. 1952-55. African handbook oj birds. Series I, 

Vols. 1 & 2. London: Longmans. 
Moreau, R. E. 1950. The breeding seasons of African birds — 1. Land birds. Ibis 92: 223-267. 
White, C. M. N. 1965. A revised checklist of African non-passerine birds. Lusaka: Government 

Printer. 



On the supposed genus Vetrochelidon 

by Allan R. Phillips 

Received 8th November 1972 
Brooke (1972: 55-56) maintains Petrochelidon apart from Hirundo because it 
"has a red rump and a virtually square tail and does not build an entrance 
tunnel to its mud pellet nests : some species are colonial breeders". (He also 
removes from Hirundo certain other species, placing them in Pseudhirundo and 
Cecropis, with which I am not here concerned, for lack of field experience.) 

The nests of the common swallows are well known, and publicized in a 
multitude of short articles and local and general works, besides the classic 
Bent "Life Histories" (Bent 1942). Contrary to Brooke's claim, the type 
species of "Petrochelidon", "P. pyrrhonota" or a/bifrons, the Cliff Swallow, 
does quite uniformly build an entrance tunnel to its retort-shaped nests. The 
Cave Swallow, "P." fulva, usually does not, but its nesting is quite variable; 
see for example Wetmore and Swales, 1931 : 320-322. 

Tail shape is quite variable among species generally conceded, even by 
Brooke, to belong to Hirundo, sensu strictu. I cannot regard rump colour as a 
good generic character; and since none of Brooke's other characters hold 
true, I continue to regard "Petrochelidon" as inseparable from Hirundo, as 
previously (Phillips, Marshall, and Monson, 1964). 

Of more importance, perhaps, is the nasal operculum (cf. Ridgway, 1 904 ; 
Brodkorb, 1968); but its variation (presence or absence) cuts right across the 
colour and nesting variations, which may prove more basic. 

References : 

Bent, A. C. 1942. Life Histories of North American Flycatchers, Larks, Swallows and their 

Allies. U.S. Nat. Mus. Bull. 179. 
Brodkorb, P. 1968. Part Five. Birds, p. 260-451. {In W. F. Blair et at, Vertebrates of the 

United States. Second Edition.) New York, etc. : McGraw Hill Book Co. 
Brooke, R. K. 1972. Generic limits in old world Apodidae and Hirundinidae. Bull. Brit. 

Orn. CI. 92: 53-57. 
Phillips, A., Marshall, J. & Monson, G. 1964. The Birds of Arizona. Tucson: Univ. Ariz. 

Press. 
Ridgway, R. 1904. The Birds of North and Middle America . . . Part III. U.S. Nat. Mus. 

Bull. 50, pt. III. 
Wetmore, A., & Swales, B. H. 1931. The Birds of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. 

U.S. Nat. Mus. Bull. 155. 



Nesting of the Roseate Tern (Sterna dougallii) 
near Dar es Salaam 

by D. Keith Thomas & Hugh F. I. Elliott 

Received 16th October 19 j 2 

The current interest in seabirds of the East African coast has prompted us 
to dig out some long unpublished notes and photographs of a Roseate Tern 
colony which established itself near Dar es Salaam from July to September 
i960. This was recorded soon afterwards by one of us (Thomas 1962), but 
with few details. Otherwise, there seem to be no records of the breeding of 
this species in what is now Tanzania, except for those quoted by Mackworth- 
Praed & Grant (1952), namely Zanzibar (in October: a breeding male and a 
chick marked "Chumbe Zanzibar 3/10/27" are in the British Museum 
(Natural History) collection); coral reef near Pemba (June and July); Kisite 
islands near Tanga (July); and, "almost certainly", Mafia (Aug. and Spet.). 

The Dar es Salaam colony was discovered by D. K. Thomas on 7th August 
i960, on an undercut ("mushroom") coral islet of about 50 mm circumfer- 
ence and 4.5 m in height, one of several strung out along an extensive reef 
which more or less dries out at low spring tides. This reef, the Hammand, 
lies to the north of Outer Makatumbe ("Lighthouse") island, some 4 km 
from the harbour entrance. The number of adult terns was estimated at 
about 300 and this was confirmed when we both visited the site on 21st 
August. On that occasion six to ten pairs of terns were also found to be 
nesting on a smaller islet about 100 m away. Some eggs had already been 
hatched on 7th August, suggesting that the colony had been occupied by 
mid- July. However, some eggs were also still being incubated on 21st 
August and, on our final visit on 3rd September, when only 20-30 adults 
remained in the vicinity, a few unfledged chicks were being fed. 

The flat-looking but in fact very rough and deeply creviced tops of the 
islets, both of which were accessible only at fortnightly intervals (in the case 
of the main colony thanks to the collapse of a large segment of the overhang), 
were covered by a dense tangle of vegetation, identified (L. H. Brown in 
litt.) as mainly composed of Salvadorapersica and Cissus quadrangularis^ although 
one baobab had managed to obtain a ledgement. The eggs had been laid on 
the bare coral or, occasionally, on a sparse mat of plant detritus, which looked 
as if it had been brought together as nest material. There was particularly 
good cover for young birds on the dense vegetation and crevices. In most 
cases only a single egg had been laid, but three C/2 were noted. Seven eggs 
measured averaged 43.5 x 31.5 mm (extremes 46.5 X 30.5, 40.5 x 31 
and 45 x 32); egg colour was very variable, from pale bluish white almost 
unmarked through stone-grey with fine black and ashy speckling to deep 
buffy with large blotches of dark brown and lavender-grey. There was a 
frequent tendency for the markings to form a central band. 

Observations of this colony and examination of the two specimens col- 
lected, an adult and chick, now in the British Museum, support the conclusion 
that tropical populations of Roseates tend to be smaller, whiter below (with 
no discernible pink flesh) and redder-billed when in breeding condition and, 
in juveniles, with the pale grey of mantle and scapulars more heavily overlaid 
with buffy mottling, compared with populations of the sub-tropics or 
temperate regions whether to north or south. Our birds' bills looked red with 
a black tip rather than black with red at the gape, although in the adult 
specimen collected only 20. 5 of the 39 mm of the upper mandible was in fact 



red, or just over half, This specimen most closely matches those from Ceylon 
in the British Museum collections, which are attributed to the subspecies 
korustes originally described from the Andamans. But specific nomenclature 




Roseate Tern colony on one of two coral islets on Hammand reef, Dar es Salaam. Top : the 
islet at low spring tide: broken segment on left allowed access to colony — about 50 terns 
visible in photograph; part of Outer Makatumbe island in right background. Middle: the 
mat of Cissus quadrangular is and Salvadora persica on the summit — looking west over outer 
anchorage of Dar es Salaam towards city. Bottom: egg on coral rag in the Salvadora) Cissus 
tangle, a few leaves and twigs having apparently been. assembled as nest material. 



is an unsatisfactory way of recording the intergradations of this wide-ranging 
species, especially as all the characters that have been used except size (where 
the variation is only of the order of five or six per cent) are invalid unless the 
birds compared are known to have been at the same stage in the breeding 
cycle. 

References : 

Mackworth-Praed, C. W. & Grant, C. H. B. 1952. African handbook of birds. Series I, Vol. 1. 

London: Longmans. 
Thomas, D. K. 1962. Birds — further notes on breeding in Tanganyika. Tang. Notes &c Recs. 

58/59: 200. 

The Relationships of Picathartes 
by Charles G. Sibley 

Received 18 th October 1972 
The systematic position of the West African genus Picathartes has been 
examined by several authors in recent years. Sclater (1930) and others before 
him had placed Picathartes in the Corvidae but Lowe (1938) proposed that it 
is a member of the Sturnidae. Amadon (1943) suggested that Picathartes may 
be an "aberrant member of the thrush-babbler assemblage" and Delacour 
(1950) placed it in a special tribe, Picathartini, in the Timaliinae. Delacour & 
Amadon (195 1) reviewed the problem and the evidence and concluded "that 
Picathartes has far more in common with babblers than with starlings, crows, 
or other passerine families". Serle (1952) reviewed the nestling behaviour, 
eggs and juvenile plumage of Picathartes and found nothing inconsistent with 
a relationship to the Corvidae. He noted that the babbler Eupetes of south-east 
Asia, Indonesia and Borneo resembles Picathdrtes in general proportions, 
texture of the plumage and bare skin areas. Although Serle advocated com- 
parisons with all passerine groups he thought that Picathartes should be kept 
"in or near the Corvidae". Bannerman (195 1 ; 1953) circumvented the prob- 
lem by placing Picathartes in its own monotypic family but indicated his 
acceptance of Lowe's position by placing it next to the Sturnidae. White 
(1962) retained Picathartes in the Corvidae "largely because no convincing 
reasons for moving it have yet been given" (p. 4). Deignan (1964: 442) 
recognized a subfamily. Picathartinae, near the Timaliinae in the Musci- 
capidae. Hall & Moreau (1962) included Picathartes in the Timaliidae, 
Moreau (1966: 161) referred to "the babblers Picathartes gymnocephalus Jonas" 
and Hall & Moreau (1970: 149) "tentatively" followed the arrangement 
presented by Deignan {he. cit.). 

In a recent study (Sibley 1970) the egg-white proteins of Picathartes 
gymnocephalus were compared with those of many other passerine groups 
using the technique of starch gel electrophoresis. I found (p. 62) that the 
patterns produced by Picathartes egg white were more like those of the 
timaliids than those of coivids or sturnids, and thus supported the conclusions of 
Delacour & Amadon (195.1). But this evidence fell short of providing proof 
of such a relationship because of the limitations of the starch gel technique. 
I am now able to report on additional studies of the egg-white proteins of 
Picathartes using the electrophoretic method of isoelectric focusing in acryla- 
mide gel (IFAG). This techinque is described in Sibley & Frelin (1972). 
With IFAG many more proteins can be resolved and the resulting patterns 
provide an improved basis for systematic comparisons. I have discussed the 
use of electrophoretic data in systematics in previous papers (e.g. Sibley 
1970). 



Two sets of comparisons, using pH ranges of 3-10 and 6-4, were carried 
out. That Picathartes is a babbler, rather than a sturnid or a corvid, is easily 
established but it is even clear that Picathartes is especially close to the African 
timaliine genus Turdoides. Some 21 protein bands can be seen in the^H 3-10 
gels and all of them are identical or nearly so between Picathartes gymno- 
cephalus and Turdoides jardineii and T. ieucopygius. The other babblers, for which 
egg-white specimens were available, namely, Trichastoma sepiarium, T. bicolor, 
Pomatostomus temporalis and P. superciliosus, basically agree with Picathartes 
and Turdoides, but show some minor differences in the positions or concen- 
trations of some proteins. 

In the "magnified" patterns of the pH 6-4 region the detailed similarities 
between Picathartes and Turdoides are striking. Ten proteins can be resolved 
in this limited range and for six of them Picathartes and Turdoides have identi- 
cal isoelectric points. The other four show small differences in isoelectric 
points of a magnitude I have often observed between congeneric species. In 
fact, the two species of Turdoides are only slightly more alike than Picathartes 
and either of the Turdoides The most striking contrast is found in the com- 
parisons between Picathartes and the Malayan Trichastoma and the Australian 
Pomatostomus. Both show greater differences when compared to Picathartes 
than those noted between Picathartes and the African Turdoides. 

It thus seems clear that Picathartes is a babbler and that its closest living 
relatives are probably the members of the genus Turdoides. It will be necessary 
to compare the egg-white proteins of Picathartes with those of all genera of 
African babblers before we can be absolutely certain that Turdoides is closest 
to it. However, of the babblers occurring in Africa Turdoides seems to be the 
most likely close relative of Picathartes. The resemblances between Picathartes 
and Eupetes noted by Serle (1952) are almost certainly the result of con- 
vergence but should be investigated further. The egg white of Eupetes is not 
available but it, and that of all species, would be welcomed by the writer. 

In view of this new evidence I recommend that Picathartes be placed next 
to Turdoides and that they be arranged no farther apart than as tribes in the 
same subfamily. In my opinion they are closely related genera and the only 
reason for separating them in different tribes is to recognize their superficial 
morphological differences. 

AC KNOWLEDGEMENTS 

The first egg white of Picathartes which I received came to me through 
the kindness of Mr. J. T. Menzies, at that time resident in Sierra Leone. The 
specimen used in this study was collected in Ghana by Dr. L. G. Grimes to 
whom I am also grateful for a memorable trip to see Picathartes gymnocephalus 
in the field during a visit to Ghana in 1964. The other egg white specimens 
mentioned were provided through the kindness of Dr. David R. Wells, Mr. 
Tony E. Bush and Mr. Gordon B. Ragless. Mr. Jon E. Ahlquist gave 
generously of his help and advice and technical assistance was provided by 
Miss Dorothy J. Moore. The National Science Foundation supported the 
study under grant GB-6192X. 

References : 

Amadori, D. 1943. The genera of starlings and their relationships. Amer. Mus. Novit. 1247: 

1-16. 
Bannerman, D. A. 195 1. The birds of tropical West Africa. Vol. 8. London: Crown Agents. 
— 1953. The birds of west and equatorial Africa. Vol. 2. Edinburgh & London: Oliver & 

Boyd. 

24 



Deignan, H. G. 1964. Subfamily Picathartinae, p. 442 in Checklist of birds of the world, vol. 10, 

ed. E. Mayr & R. A. Paynter, Jr., Cambridge, Mass.: Museum of Comparative 

Zoology. 
Delacour, J. 1950. Les timaliines. Additions et modifications. L'Oiseau et R.F.O. 20: 

186-191. 
Delacour, J. & Amadon, D. 195 1. The systematic position oiPicathartes. Ibis. 93 : 60-62 
Hall, B. P. & Moreau, R. E. 1962. A study of the rare birds of Africa. Bull. Brit. Mus. {Nat. 

Hist.) 8: 315-378. 
— 1970. An atlas of speciation in African passerine birds. Brit. Mus. (Nat. Hist.) publ. no. 68o, 

pp. xv & 423. 
Lowe, P. R. 1938. Some anatomical and other notes on the systematic position of the genus 
Picathartes, together with some remarks on the families Sturnidae and Eulabetidae. Ibis 80: 

254-269. 
Moreau, R. E. 1966. The bird faunas of Africa and its related islands. New York & London: 

Academic Press. 
Sclater, W. L. 1930. Sy sterna avium ethiopicarum. London: Brit. Orn. Union. 
Serle, W. 1952. The affinities of the genus Picathartes Lesson. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 72: 2-6. 
Sibley, C. G. 1970. A comparative study of the egg-white proteins of passerine birds. 

Bull. Peabody Mus. Nat. Hist. 32: 1-131. 
Sibley, C. G. & Frelin, C. 1972. The egg white protein evidence for ratite affinities. Ibis 114: 

377-3 8 7- 
White, C. M. N. 1962. A revised check list of African shrikes, orioles, etc. Lusaka: Government 
Printer. 



Blood parasites from a Red-chested Owlet 
Glaucidium tephronotum 

by John E. Cooper 

Received 6th November 1972 
The Red-chested Owlet Glaucidium tephronotum Sharpe is a little known forest 
species ranging from Ghana east to Kakamega forest, Western Kenya (White 
1965 ; Ripley & Bond 1971). There is a paucity of data on the biology of the 
species (Brown 1970) and I have been unable to trace any references to its 
diseases or parasites. In this note I report the finding of three species of 
blood parasite in a captive specimen of the Zaire and Uganda race, G. t. 
medje Chapin. 

Full details of the bird's history have been impossible to obtain. Dr. C. 
Pennycuick received it in late 1969 from Dr. M. P. C. Fogden, from Western 
Uganda; Pennycuick used the bird in his wind-tunnel experiments in Nairobi 
for some time until it was noted, on 5 th July 1970, to be depressed in 
appearance; no treatment was given and it was found dead the next day. 

A full post-mortem examination was carried out at the Veterinary Research 
Laboratory, Kabete, Kenya on the day of death. The bird was an adult male, 
thin (weight 67 g) with some damage and soiling of feathers but carried no 
ectoparasites. The skin is now in the National Museum, Nairobi. There was 
no internal fat and the liver was congested. The gizzard contained only 
chitinous arthropod remains. Two small nematodes were found on the 
abdominal air sac walls and these were later identified by the British Museum 
(Natural History) as a Demsidocercella species. No parasites were found in the 
intestinal tract but a faceal sample showed three Capillaria eggs, several 
unidentified spiruroid or filaroid eggs and a few coccidial oocysts. Culture of 
intestine yielded Escherichia co/i, but heart blood was bacteriologically sterile. 

Routine blood smears from the heart of the bird were fixed with methyl 
alcohol and stained with Giemsa's stain. Examination revealed three blood 
parasites — the Protozoa Haemoproteus and Leucocyto^oon (parasitizing the red 

25 



and white blood cells respectively) and numerous microfilariae (Nematoda) 
within the plasma. It was not possible to identify these parasites further from 
a blood smear. There were no haematological abnormalities and no evidence 
of anaemia. Both blood Protozoa and microfilariae have been recorded 
previously from owls but as Keymer (1972) and Cooper (1972) point out, 
there is little data on their pathogenicity. In the present case there was no 
evidence to suggest that they were associated with disease and the cause of 
death remains obscure. In addition to the Red-chested Owlet above I have 
examined blood from 12 owls in Kenya (eight Tyto alba^ one Ciccaba wood- 
ford/t, one As/'o capensis, one Bubo africanus and one Bubo lacteus) but in none 
of these have I found either Protozoa or microfilariae. It is, of course, possible 
that the parasites in the Red-chested Owlet were acquired in captivity but all 
three parasites are vector (arthropod) borne and it would seem more likely 
for the bird to become infected in its natural habitat in the foiest than in 
captivity in the laboratory. Whatever the source however, the presence of 
three blood parasites in the blood of one specimen of Glaucidium tephronotum 
medje would appear to warrant record. 

I am grateful to Dr. C. Pennycuick for data on the owlet and for permission 
to record these findings, to Dr. I. F. Keymer for confirming the identification 
of the blood parasites and to Mr. G. C. Backhurst for valuable comments and 
advice on this paper. 

References : 

Brown, L. H. 1970. African Birds of Prey. London: Collins. 

Cooper, J. E. 1972. Veterinary Aspects of Captive Birds of Prey (In press). 

Keymer, I. F. 1972. Diseases of Birds of Prey. Vet. Rec. 90: 579-594. 

Ripley, S. D. & Bond, G. M. 1971. Systematic Notes on a Collection of Birds from Kenya 

Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology number 1 1 1 . 
White, C. M. N. 1965. A revised Checklist of African Non-Passerine Birds. Lusaka: The 

Government Printer. 



Notes on the birds of Rangiroa, Tuamotu Archipelago, 
and the surrounding ocean 

by D. T. Holy oak 

Received 20th November 1972 
While travelling between Tahiti and the Marquesas Islands in 1972 I twice 
passed through the northern end of the Tuamotu Archipelago, and spent two 
days on Rangiroa atoll. Very little information is available on seabirds at sea 
in this region and the land-birds are little known, so it seems worthwhile 
recording the limited observations I was able to make. 

On 1 3 th August I was on the French Navy frigate "L'Enseigne de Vaisseau 
Re Henri" about 30 miles east of Makatea at dawn. I was able to make 
almost continuous observations as the ship passed between Rangiroa and 
Arutua, then between Ahe and Manihi, reaching a position just north of 
Manihi by dusk. In September I returned from the Marquesas Islands on the 
American yacht "Sea Star", reaching n point about mid-way between the 
Marquesas and Tuamotu Islands by dawn on 3rd September (12 19' S, 
143 57' W.), spending the next two days sailing to Rangiroa, than 6th-7th 
September on the north side of Rangiroa atoll. 

Rangiroa is one of the largest atolls in the world, being about 45 miles 
from east to west and 20 miles from north to south. It consists of a ring of 
coral and coral sand, mainly between 100-300 m wide, reaching a width of 



600 m in a few places, and broken by a few small sea gaps. The shallow 
lagoon enclosed is so wide that the other side of the atoll cannot be seen in 
many places. The land rises to a maximum of about 5 m above sea-level and 
supports a meagre vegetation dominated by Scaevola bushes and coconut 
palms. Near the small villages there are numerous introduced trees and 
bushes. The population is about 800, nearly all of them Polynesians who live 
by fishing, copra production and subsistence farming. 

The northern Tuamotus are within the latitudes of the Southeast trade 
winds, which blow with little variation in strength and direction. The ocean 
falls away to great depths close to the islands, and is affected by the easterly 
South Equatorial Current, which moves up to about five miles a day near 
Rangiroa. Water disturbances as this current reaches the steep shores of the 
archipelago probably account for the rich marine life that supports the large 
seabird populations. 

Pterodroma rostrata, Tahiti Petrel : Birds identified as this species were seen 
at 12 20' S, 144 oo' W (one, 3rd September), 12 30' S, 144 35' W (one, 4th 
September) and 12 50' S, 145 ° 23' W (five, 5th September). At least 20 other 
gadfly petrels seen were either this species or the similar P. alba. The seven 
listed above were all distinguished from that species at close range by their 
larger size, heavier bill, heavier less buoyant flight and the absence of a small 
light patch under the chin. Under the variable light conditions at sea I found 
it difficult to detect the differences in colour of the upperparts of these two 
species. These are the first records for rostrata in Tuamotus waters, although 
it breeds in both the Society and Marquesas Islands (King 1967). 

Pterodroma alba, Phoenix Petrel: One seen at 12 46' S, 145 ° 19' W on 4th 
September was the only one positively identified, although some of the 
unidentified gadfly petrels mentioned under rostrata were probably this 
species; it breeds in the Tuamotus. 

Pterodroma arminjoniana heraldica, Herald Petrel: Only one seen, at 12 19' S, 
143 57' W, on 3rd September; breeds in the Tuamotus. 

Pterodroma neglecta, Kermadec Petrel: Two seen on 5th September (13 43' 
S, 1 47 10' W and 13 50' S, 147 17' W) were distinguished from the rather 
similar white phase of P. arminjoniana heraldica by the dull brown underwings 
with an oval white patch restricted to the area around the base of the pri- 
maries (not a longer, diffuse, light stripe), slightly larger size, and the way 
in which they remained lower over the water when banking. The only other 
records of this species in the Tuamotus are three specimens collected by the 
Whitney Expedition that are now in the American Museum of Natural 
History. 

Pterodroma leucoptera, White-winged Petrel: Two seen together on 3rd 
September at about 12 20' S, 145 ° 21' W, are the first records for the 
Tuamotus area. They were seen down to a range of about 1 5 m and were 
noted at the time as, "small gadfly petrels, grey above with dark 'W' back 
back pattern, blackish patch on crown extending to lower nape, all-white 
underparts, small bill, underwings virtually all-white with no trace of a dark 
line extending inwards from the alula, flight quick with rapid wing-beats". 

About ten small and medium-sized gadfly petrels were not seen well 
enough for species identification. 

Puffinus pacifus, Wedge-tailed Shearwater: About ten were seen at intervals 
on 13th August; one seen about ten miles from the north coast of Rangiroa 
on 9th September, and about ten birds that were probably of this species 
seen at 13 43' S, 147 10' W, at dawn on 5 th September. All were of the dark 
colour morph. Breeds in the Tuamotus. 

27 



Puffinus nativitatis, Christmas Shearwater: One seen at about 12 46' S, 
145 ° 19' W, on 4th September; breeds in the Tuamotus. 

Nesofregetta albigularis, White-throated Storm Petrel: One seen 13th 
August about 50 miles W.N.W. of Makatea, and another on 5th September 
at about 13 02' S, 146 20' W. Both were light phase birds, and they appear 
to be the only records for the Tuamotus other than old ones of "dark storm 
petrels" quoted by King (1967), which could have been other species of 
Hydrobatidae or Bulweria. Identification was certain as the white throat patch 
bordered below with black, white belly and butterfly-like flight were noted 
with both birds. 

Phaethon aethereus, Red-billed Tropicbird: An adult seen at about 1 3 45 ' S, 
1 47 1 1' W, on 5 th September. This is the first record for the Tuamotus area. 
Identification was certain as the bird repeatedly flew around the mast of the 
yacht, giving clear views of a scarlet bill, long white central tail feathers and 
narrow black bars on the back. 

An unidentified immature tropicbird was seen about 40 miles north of 
Rangiroa on 5th September; both P. Upturns and P. rubricauda breed in the 
Tuamotus (King). 

Sula sulci, Red-footed Booby: A total of several hundred was seen close 
to the islands, singly and in small groups. None were seen more than about 
30 miles from land except for a single bird at about 12 28' S, 144 15' Won 
3rd September. Three out of 231 birds counted were of the light phase; 
breeds in the Tuamotus. 

Sula leucogaster, Brown Booby: Single birds were seen frequently close to 
the islands, a total of about 20 being counted; none were seen more than 30 
miles from land. Breeds in the Tuamotus. 

Fregata minor, Great Frigatebird : The only bird definitely identified as this 
species was an adult male seen on 6th September about two miles north of 
Rangiroa. Breeds in the Tuamotus. 

Fregata ariel, Lesser Frigatebird : Apparently commoner than minor; 1 1 were 
identified on or near Rangiroa and one near Ahe, most of them soaring over 
the atolls. A further 20 or so unidentified and immature frigatebirds were 
seen near to the islands, and single unidentified immatures were also seen far 
from land on 2nd September (around 12 22' S, 144 05' W) and 3rd Septem- 
ber (12 25' S, 144 35' W). Breeds in the Tuamotus. 

Egretta sacra, Reef Heron: Common on Rangiroa. They fed mainly on fish 
in the clear, shallow water along the shore, but also in a small grassy marsh 
and on bare areas of the atoll among scattered bushes where insects appeared 
to be the main prey. I will comment elsewhere on counts of the two colour 
morphs made on Rangiroa and other islands in the Tuamotus (Holyoak ms a). 

G alius gallus, Domestic Fowl: Numerous around houses on Rangiroa, but 
no feral populations exist. 

Pluvialis dominica, Lesser Golden Plover: Common along the seaward shore 
of Rangiroa and on grassy areas of the atoll, about 30 being seen altogether. 
Most birds were moulting from summer to winter plumage in early Septem- 
ber, but the stage of moult varied considerably between individuals. 

Prosobonia (Aechmorhynchus) cancellatus, Tuamotu Sandpiper : One was seen 
on a bare area of Rangiroa about three miles south-east of the airstrip, on 6th 
September. It was alone, and feeding on insects taken from the ground in a 
bare area of coral among scattered herbaceous plants. For the five minutes I 
was able to watch it was absurdly tame, allowing me to approach to within 
about 2 m before running further away; throughout this time it gave a soft 
"pew" "pew" squeaking call almost continually. After I had followed it for 

28 






about 40 m it suddenly flew (disclosing heavy moult of the primaries and 
secondaries) and continued low over the beach until lost to view. 

This species is endemic to the Tuamotu Archipelago, where it breeds only 
on small atolls having no men, cats or rats {mss by Quayle & Beck in American 
Museum of Natural History). As atolls like this are gradually becoming 
scarcer its continued survival is in doubt unless some small atolls are set aside 
as reserves. Presumably the bird I saw was merely a casual visitor to Rangiroa 
as it has not been recorded there before and this island is unsuitable for 
breeding owing to the abundance of men and rats. 

Tringa incana, Wandering Tattler: Numerous along the seaward shore of 
Rangiroa, about 20 being seen in total. Most of them were still in summer 
plumage. 

Sterna {Thalasseus) bergi, Crested Tern: About ten seen close to the shores 
of Rangiroa on 6th~7th September. These were adults accompanied by one 
or two flying juveniles each. An adult was seen to fly towards a juvenile that 
was following and giving squeaking calls, then to pass a small fish to its bill 
about 20 m up above open water. Another juvenile was watched standing on 
a beach attempting to swallow a reef fish about 8 cm long, 5 cm deep and 1 
cm thick; eventually it gave up and left the fish on the beach. 

Sterna fuscata, Sooty Tern: Numerous around the islands, hundreds being 
seen around Rangiroa on 6th~7th September. Both days on Rangiroa flocks 
of up to 60 birds were frequently seen flying high along the atoll to the south- 
east, calling frequently. Only three in juvenile plumage were seen despite 
careful inspection of "noddies". Up to five daily were also seen far from land 
on 13th August and 3rd-4th September; breeds in the Tuamotus. 

Sterna iunata, Grey-backed Tern: Two seen at about 12 46' S, 145 ° 19' W 
on 4th September, and six near the shore of Rangiroa on 6th September; 
breeds in the Tuamotus. 

Procelsterna cerulea, Blue-grey Noddy: At least 50 seen close to shore of 
Rangiroa on 6th~7th September; none seen away from land. Appeared to 
be breeding in coral blocks along shore of Rangiroa, as sereval birds flew out 
from beneath them as I passed and it is known to breed elsewhere in the 
Tuamotus (King). 

Anous stolidus, Brown Noddy: Large numbers seen whenever I was within 
20 miles of land, feeding flocks seen off Rangiroa containing up to about a 
thousand birds of this species. Apparently less numerous than A. tenuirostris. 
Breeds commonly in coconut palms on Rangiroa and elsewhere in the 
Tuamotus. I saw several well-grown young birds in coconut palms and 
adults were seen to fly from them. Few seen far from land, my only records 
being of five at about 13 43' S, 147 10' W on 5 th September and five more 
at about 13 52' S, 147 50' W the same day. 

Anous tenuirostris, Black Noddy: Large numbers seen whenever I was 
within about 20 miles of land, but none further out. Several feeding flocks 
seen near Rangiroa had several thousand birds of this species, and flocks of 
scores or hundreds were always in view from the shore. Nests abundantly in 
coconut palms on Rangiroa, where I saw numerous nestlings at all stages of 
growth. 

One was watched flying back and forth alone over lagoon water only 5-8 
cm deep, periodically dipping in to water to catch a tiny fish in its bill and 
touching the bottom with its feet, then resting there briefly with opened 
wings half-raised before flying up and starting to hunt again. A Reef Heron 
feeding in the water lunged at this bird several times when it passed close by. 

29 



Gygis alba, White Tern : Common near to land, many hundreds being seen 
feeding close to Rangkoa, where they were breeding in coconut palms and 
other trees (two small young seen). Far from land small numbers were seen 
daily, maximum 16 on 2nd September. 

This species is conspicuous in the large feeding flocks of terns characteristic 
of the Tuamotus as it flies to and fro about 10-25 m above the water, 
periodically dipping to catch small fish. Anous stolidus and A. tenuirostris 
characteristically fly beneath the White Terns, usually only 1-5 m above the 
water. All three species feed throughout the day in large numbers ; the White 
Tern also feeds at night, but I obtained no proof that the Anous species do so 
too. 

In the bright sunlight usual in this area the white flashes as Gygis turns to 
dip to the water surface are conspicuous at a great distance, and are used by 
local fishermen to locate fish shoals. Presumably the white colouration also 
enables other Gygis and other species of fish eating-bird to spot fish shoals 
easily. When solitary birds or small flocks of this species first start to feed they 
give a long, high-pitched "weeee" squeaking call almost continually. This 
must make them conspicuous to birds that have not found food from several 
miles away, as from the near-silence of a yacht under sail I often heard them 
before seeing them at ranges of at least 1 km; I did not notice this call when 
travelling on motor powered ships and boats, probably because of the engine 
noise. Perhaps the call aids in the co-ordination of nocturnal feeding, as I 
frequently heard it at sea during the night. 

In view of the number of White Terns I saw far from land between the 
Marquesas and Tuamotu Groups it seems likely that the endemic Marquesan 
subspecies microrhyncha occurs in Tuamotu waters, although records are 
lacking. 

Ptilinopus (purpuratus) coralensis, Tuamotu Fruit Dove: Seven or eight seen 
in tall scrub and low trees in a coconut plantation in the village on the north 
side of Rangiroa. I did not see any in the scrub and coconut plantations away 
from the village where there were few trees other than coconuts. They were 
comparatively tame, often not flying away until I walked in full view of the 
bird to within about 4 m. It moves freely from about 1 2 m up in the tree-tops 
to the ground, feeding on the ground and in very low bushes as well as in 
taller bushes and trees. Its movements through foliage are agile, with long 
hops between branches, rapid sideways runs down them and hanging head 
downwards to reach food. The general shape and outline of this form are 
distinctly slimmer and more passerine-like than those of the related ptilinopus 
in the Society Islands. Its flight is direct, but not very rapid, with quick, 
regular, rather shallow wing-beats that make a whistling sound. 

I saw them eat black berries about 7 mm in diameter from a low bush, small 
green flowers of a low tree, and many insects pecked from the foliage of 
bushes and the ground with a quick darting action. Bruner (1972 p. 75) also 
records them eating insects on the ground, and grass seed. 

The usual song is similar to that of Society Island Ptilinopus, a soft "0000- 
()()()o-( )ooo-ooo-ooo-oo-oo-o-o-o-o-o" accelerating towards the end as it 
dies away. An alternative song similar to those heard in the Society Islands 
was also heard several times and tape-recorded, "ooa-00 oooa-00 oooa-00 
oooa-oo". They frequently sang from low in bushes as well as high perches. 

After singing one bird was seen to fly down in to a low bush and perch 
near to another about 3 m up. It then walked towards the other bird, allo- 
preened its crown and nape for about a minute (without huddling close to the 

30 



bird being preened), stepped back and preened itself. Head-scratching in this 
species is direct (foot lifted straight to head). 

A local woman showed me a nearly fully-built nest less than a metre above 
the ground in a patch of thick, low scrub among taller bushes in a coconut 
plantation. The nest was well-hidden from above, and consisted of a flimsy, 
flat platform of thin twigs and slender pieces of vine stem. Local people all 
agreed that it lays a single pale brown egg in a flimsy, flat nest. The eggs of all 
Ptilinopus so far known are white, except that superbus lays white or creamy 
white eggs (Goodwin 1967); thus my informants may have been wrong 
about the egg colour. I was told that it also nests higher up in bushes but that 
nests within about 1 5 cm of the ground are common. 

Goodwin (/. c.) and others have lumped this form with Ptilinopus purpuratus 
of the Society Islands, along with chalcurus from Makatea and chrysogaster from 
the Leeward Society Islands. It is always difficult to decide what taxonomic 
status should be afforded island forms that replace each other geographically, 
and any treatment is little better than an informed guess. Generally the best 
basis from which to guess would seem to be the extent of differences in 
closely related forms that achieve sympatry. InPtilinopus the sympatric species 
mercierii and dupetithouarsi of the Marquesas Islands do not differ more in 
plumage than some of the forms included in purpuratus, and they appear to 
differ less in behaviour and ecology than do purpuratus and coralensis, (Holy- 
oak in prep, and ms b). 

P. purpuratus purpuratus and P. p. chrysogaster of the Society Islands have 
very similar general behaviour and ecology (Holyoak ms b), and differ from 
coralensis in being almost entirely arboreal, eating fewer insects, nesting 
higher in trees and in general body shape. It seems unlikely that either would 
survive for very long in the habitat of the other. P. p. chalcurus is intermediate 
in plumage between coralensis and nominate purpuratus, but differs from both 
in its darker mauve cap. The biology of chalcurus is practically unknown, 
but the raised atoll of Makatea probably offers conditions that are inter- 
mediate in many respects between those of the mountainous Society Islands 
and the low atolls of the Tuamotus. As Makatea is also between the Society 
Islands and Tuamotus geographically, it seems likely that chalcurus does 
represent a link between coralensis and the nominate form. Thus it may be 
best to keep all of those forms together in one species despite the marked 
differences in their general ecology; however, any course of action is largely 
! arbitrary. 

Acrocephalus atypha, Tuamotu Warbler : Three birds were seen in an area of 
tall bushes under scattered coconut palms near the airstrip on Rangiroa. They 
were very tame, approaching through open branches to within 2 m of me in 
a very bold manner. In general their actions when moving through vege- 
tation were similar to those of Acrocephalus arundinaceus ; although their flight 
appeared weaker. 

They pecked small insects from twigs and leaves as they hopped rapidly 
up and down branches, and one was seen to catch a small insect in flight. 
Calls were similar to those of A. caffra of the Society and Marquesas Islands, 
a low "chru" being frequently repeated. The song was also similar in struc- 
ture to that of caffra, but less continuous, less rich and less varied. Typically 
the song consisted of the "chru" call followed by a short whistling phrase, 
e.g. "chru-peee-tu-tu-pee-wee" followed by a pause before the song was 
repeated with a different arrangement of whistling notes. They sing at all 
levels from high in coconut trees to low down in bushes, and appeared to 
sing most vigorously around sunset. 

3 1 



Singing birds replied vigorously and approached me with raised crown 
feathers and half-opened wings when I played tape recordings of their song 
to them. The whistling songs of a variety of unrelated American birds, in- 
cluding wrens, thrushes and a parulid, evoked equally vigorous responses. 
Presumably as A., atypha is the only songbird in the Tuamotus it has lost the 
ability to differ entiate between songs of conspecifics and other species that 
related birds of continental areas have. It is also likely that the present varied 
and musical song has not degenerated, solely because there is a need for it 
in intraspecific relations. 

I saw several old nests built in bushes from 4-8 m above the ground, 
usually among trailing vines. One I examined was a substantial, deep, cup- 
shaped structure built of grass stems, long leaves and the fine stems of vines, 
with a lining of slender vine stems. It measured about 12 cm from top to 
bottom and was built in a fork of the branch of a bush among a thick vine 
growth. 

AC KNOWLEDGEMENTS 

My visit to Polynesia was made possible by a fellowship of the Winston 
Churchill Memorial Trust, and preparatory work at the American Museum 
of Natural History was financed by a grant from the Frank M. Chapman 
Memorial Fund. I am also grateful to the officers and crew of "L'Enseigne 
de Vaisseau Re Henri" and to J. Cunha, Mr. & Mrs. J. P. Kavanaugh, and 
Mr. & Mrs. R. Pozzi on the "Sea Star" for hospitality and assistance. 

Mr. E. Bryan jr., Mile. K. Dubois, Dr. C. Jouanin, Dr. B. Salvat, Dr. D. W. 
Snow and M. C. Tissier also assisted me in various ways, and I am grateful 
to Dr. W. R. P. Bourne and Mr. W. B. King for commenting on my manu- 
script. 

References : 

Bruner, P. L. 1972. Birds of French Polynesia. Honolulu: Bishop Museum. 

Goodwin, D. 1967. Pigeons and doves of the World. London: British Museum (Natural 

History). 
Holyoak, D. T. ms a. Significance of colour dimorphism in Polynesian populations of 

Egret ta sacra. 

— ms b. The birds of the Society Islands. 

— in preparation. The birds of the Marquesas Islands. 

King, W. B. 1967. Seabirds of the tropical Pacific Ocean. Preliminary Smithsonian Identification 
Manual. Washington: Smithsonian Institution. 

First Report of Pitta e. erythrogaster from Leyte 

by Kenneth W. Prescott 

Received 24th November 1972 
Some time ago Dr. Kenneth C. Parkes questioned me concerning a pitta 
which I had collected on 4th July 1945 . Although the recorded locality of the 
specimen was Leyte, which attracted Parkes' attention, it was taken aboard 
a ship which was anchored a few miles off the coast of central Leyte in the 
Leyte Gulf. McGregor & Worcester (1906: 68) listed twenty-three Philippine 
Islands from which P. e. erythrogaster has been recorded. Leyte was not one of 
these although it was recorded from the neighbouring islands of Samar to 
the north, Mindanao to the south, Cebu and Panay to the west and south- 
west, and Masbate to the north-west. In discussing the zoologically distinct 
island groups of the Phillippines, McGregor & Worcester (1906: 4-5) 
grouped Samar, Leyte and Bohol together, placed Cebu in a class by itself, 
regarded Mindanao and the immediately adjacent islands as by themselves, 
and Panay and Masbate were placed with the central Philippine group. 



Although in 1906 McGregor & Worcester did not record this pitta from 
Leyte or Bohol, subsequently McGregor (1909: 414) listed it from Bohol 
but not from Leyte. To date, strangely enough, it has not been reported 
from Leyte. A glance at the map discloses the fairly large Leyte literally 
encircled by islands on which P. e. erythrogaster is found; moreover, the 
zoologically related Samar is contiguous with Leyte to the north-east. My 
specimen, although collected offshore, rather strongly suggests that P. e. 
erythrogaster exists on Leyte. 

At dusk the bird flew aboard the well lighted U.S.S. Jamestown, A.G.P.-3, 
through an open porthole alighting on a table in a crew's mess where it was 
quickly pounced upon by a boatswains-mate whom I had frequently taken 
on collecting trips. He brought the still living bird to me which I subsequently 
made into a skin, now UMMZ-113, 932 (sex, female?) in the University of 
Michigan, Museum of Zoology collection. The Jamestown was one of 
several hundred lighted ships anchored that evening in Leyte Gulf. That the 
pitta chanced my way was a stroke of good luck, although we were anchored 
much closer to shore, two-four miles, than the other larger war ships. 

For this specimen I am grateful to the quick thinking George, BM/ic, 
and to the U.S. Navy which allowed me to collect birds while serving (then 
Executive Officer of the Jamestown) during a time of war. I am indebted to 
Dr. Parkes who called my attention to the importance of the locality in which 
the pitta was collected. 

References : 

McGregor, Richard C. & Worcester, Dean C. 1906. A Hand-List of the Birds of the Philip- 
pine Islands. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Government Laboratories ; No. 36. 
January. Manila. 

McGregor, Richard C. 1 909. A Manual of Philippine Birds. Part II. Bureau of Sciences, 
Manila. 



Supplementary Notes on the Birds of 
Point Tombo, Argentina 

by Jeffery Bos wall 

Received jth December 1972 
In company with Donaldo Maclver and Douglas Fisher I returned to Point 
Tombo, Argentina, from ioth-26th October 1972 to complete a BBC 
television film on the biology of the Magellanic Penguin Spheniscus magellani- 
cus. The visit was earlier in the season than that in 1971, the ornithological 
results of which were published by Boswall and Prytherch (1972). A few 
supplementary notes are now set out with emphasis on the seabird species 
known to nest. Not all bird species seen are mentioned. 

The notice prohibiting access to Point Tombo in the interests of preserv- 
ing the ecology of the area proved to be meaningless. Between 2,500 and 
3,000 people visited the area in the austral spring and summer of 197 1-2, 
mainly in December, January and February, and mainly at weekends, They 
wander at will and in our experience are particularly attracted to the part of 
the penguin colony without bushes, where the birds are most conspicuous 
and where the burrows cave in very readily. Also, we saw that Kelp Gulls 
Larus dominicanus follow in the wake of humans and carry off penguin eggs 
left unguarded. The uncontrolled wanderings of tourists is a cause of great 
concern to local conservationists. 

33 



Eudyptes crestatus y Rockhopper Penguin ; Four dead birds on the shore. 

Spheniscus magellankus, Magellanic Penguin: Specially detailed notes were 
kept on this bird to be used as a basis for the film commentary. Also a 
separate paper is being prepared. However it is important to tidy up here 
some points made in the earlier Point Tombo paper. The phrase "peak of 
laying" in paragraph two under S. magellankus should read "peak of clutch 
completion". Point Tombo is now known not to be "the northernmost 
colony of this species on the Atlantic coast apart from 50 pairs reputed to 
nest at Punta Leon . . . (64 30' W. 43 ° 05' S.)". Juan Munoz (in discussion, 
1972) knows of a colony at Punta Clara (65 12' W. 43 57' S.). Murphy is 
mis-quoted in the earlier paper; his only evidence that this species nests 
"From the Gulf of San Matias, Argentina, southward" was not Magellan's 
sighting. Murphy also refers to Burmeister, who wrote that "from about 
latitude 41 ° S. on the Patagonian coast the Jackass Penguins are more or less 
regular denizens of the islets, peninsulas and mainland beaches". The fact that 
Durnford (1 878) found no penguins at Point Tombo at the end of December 
surprised Boswall & Prytherch, but in 1972 a new fact came to light. It is 
that in about 1930, when Carlos La Regina of Estancia La Perla was in his 
early teens, only a very small part of the area now occupied by nesting 
penguins was in use by them. Since then they have spread greatly. 

With regard to breeding season, it is worth mentioning here, since the 
first paper was particularly concerned with this subject, that the peak of 
clutch completion in 1972 was not as early as 7th October, as Boswall & 
Prytherch speculated, assuming the birds lay eggs at the same time every 
year. It was well after 16th October and before 21st October. On nth, 
inspection of 100 nests showed 52 with birds but no eggs, 35 with one egg 
and 13 with two eggs. Comparable figures for 16th were 21,31 and 48; and 
for 2 1 st October, 8, 17 and 74 plus one nest with three eggs. It must be con- 
cluded either that the incubation period of the closely related species S. 
demersus is not the same as that of magellankus, or that egg-laying at Point 
Tombo was differently timed in 1971 and 1972. 1971/72 was an exceptionally 
cold winter in Patagonia and locals advised us that, at the time of our arrival, 
temperatures were still much below the usual ones for the time of year. But 
whether the coming ashore of the penguins would be influenced by local 
weather is not known, except that Carrara (1952) says "... the arrival on 
land for nesting is from the first days of September until the beginning of 
October; but there are small variations every year. The climatological con- 
ditions, specially the temperature, play a most important role in the dates of 
arrival on land". Meyer de Schauensee (1970) says of distribution of S. 
magellankus "Breeds . . . coast of Argentina north to Santa Cruz". In fact the 
species nests north to the next province, Chubut. 

Diomedea melanophris, Black-browed Albatross : One seen in flight. 

Macronectes giganteus, Giant Fulmar (or Petrel): A single bird was seen at a 
floating penguin carcase, and on another day a group of about six birds were 
similarly engaged. Conway (1971) saw Giant Fulmars attack apparently adult 
penguins at Point Tombo. 

Fulmarus glacialoides, Southern (or Silver-grey) Fulmar: One seen just off- 
shore on 22nd October. 

Phalacrocorax magellanicus, Rock Cormorant; P. bouganivillii ', Guanay Cor- 
morant; and P. albiventer, King Cormorant. All three species were back at 
the mixed colony .The two last were just starting to collect nesting material 
on nth October. According to Carlos La Regina (personal discussion, 1972), 

34 



cormorant guano was taken from Point Tombo in about 1965 by a Japanese 
company. 

Rodolpho Escalante (pers. comm. 1972) has drawn my attention to the 
fact that the observations by Erize (1972) on the first Atlantic-coast nesting 
of P. bougainvillii had first been published by Navas (1970). Erize (op. cit,) 
quoted Meyer de Schauensee (1970) to the effect that the nearest nesting 
Guanays, measured by the shortest sea route, were nearly 3,000 kms away on 
Mocha Island in Chile. Johnson (1965), however, says that this island, which 
lies at Lat. 37 30' S, was deserted by 1962 and that only the colony known to 
him in Chile is on Pupuya Islet at Lat. 3 3 58' S. about 400 kms further to the 
north. 

Boswall & Prytherch (1972) quote Olrog (1968) on P. albiventer breeding 
on "the inland lakes in the province of Neuquen". Escalante (1971) quotes 
Navas {Neotropica 1970 (16): 140-144) to the effect that the birds in Neuquen 
are Blue-eyed Cormorants P. atriceps, and not P. albiventer. Since the latter 
"has been much confused with one or more races of P. atriceps" (Murphy 
1936), it is worth mentioning that a colour photograph of those at Point 
Tombo was published by Erize (1970) and that two colour transparencies of 
mine are deposited in the University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge. 

Phoenicopterus chilensis, Chilean Flamingo : Two parties of about a dozen 
birds seen. One party appeared to be feeding in the sea. 

Cygnus melancoryphus, Black-necked Swans: Seven in flight on 22nd, 
twelve on 23rd. 

Tachyeres patachonicus, Flying Steamer-duck: The identification of this 
species was confirmed by close field observation and the wing length of a 
drake found dead. Also, the identification of the birds in Parrinder's photo- 
graph as flightless Flying Steamer-ducks has been further confirmed by 
Milton Weller and O. S. Pettingill (pers. comm., 1972): "The birds are 
evidently moulting, being temporarily without most of their remiges, except 
for their tertials". The sizes of six eggs found in a nest just above high water 
mark on 22nd October were: 84.8 x 55 .8 mm, 83.2 x 54.6 mm, 83.0 x 
54.2 mm, 85.0 x 5 5-6 mm, 83.1 x 56.1 mm., and 84.6 x 55.5 mm. The 
respective weights were 140, 130, 130, 145, 140 and 135 grammes. A bird was 
put off this nest, but otherwise the birds were always in pairs, the two 
keeping very close together. As in the previous year, the pairs were spread 
out along the coast and each pair could always be found approximately where 
expected, (see also Prytherch, Boswall & Maclver, in preparation). 

Vanellus chilensis, Southern Lapwing: One pair present and rather noisy. 

Charadrius falklandicus, Two-banded Plover: One very young chick seen 
on 13 th October. 

Thinocorus rumicivorus, Least Seedsnipe: J. Daciuk tells me he has seen 
chicks of this species at Point Tombo. 

Chionis alba, Snowy Sheathbill : Small parties near the extremity of the 
point; others in the penguin colony tidying up the remains of penguin eggs 
left by gulls or skuas. 

Catharacta Skua, Great Skua: Skuas were in pairs and back in their breed- 
ing areas of the previous year. They would fly over to inspect any human 
intruder but did not mob. One was seen to snatch a penguin egg from a nest 
left unguarded because of human disturbance. Others were active in the 
burrow area of the penguin colony robbing Kelp Gulls of penguin eggs. 
With the exception of one buff-streaked bird, all had very dark plumage. 

Leucophams scoresbii, Dolphin Gull : Up to seven together in the penguin 
colony trying to "cash in" on penguin eggs stolen by Kelp Gulls. 

35 



Lams dominicanus, Kelp Gull : Already in occupation of their nesting areas 
and very clamorous at the intrusion of an observer. A number of Kelp Gulls 
were very active in the penguin colony taking eggs, but they frequently lost 
them to skuas. 

Sterna himndinacea, South American Tern : Up to ten birds presumed to be 
of this species were seen on most days. 

Sterna eurygnatha, Cayenne Tern : Four birds presumed to be of this species 
seen on 13 th October. 

Upucerthia dumetaria, Scale-throated Earthcreeper : A nest which had been 
exposed on 23rd by a human was brought to my attention. The tunnel had 
been 1 . 9 metres long, and had been hollowed from a vertical bank of soil- 
cum-shingle. At the end was a scant nest of dried grasses and five smooth 
white eggs. At least one bird returned and the same day tried to "mine" 
further beyond the nest, but no more activity was seen. 

Lessonia rufa, Rufous-backed Negrito: A female was put off a nest built at 
the base of a small plant growing among rocks near the shore. It contained 
three eggs on 23rd, two eggs and one chick on 24th, and three chicks on 
25 th. 

Diuca diuca, Common Diuca Finch : Birds almost certainly of this species 
were taking grass into a hole a couple of metres from the exposed Scale- 
throated Earthcreeper nest and it was presumed to be an unused burrow of 
that species. 

AC KNOWI EDGEMENTS 

I am grateful to Robin Prytherch for checking the paper through, and to 
Judy Billington for typing it. 

References : 

Boswall, Jeffery & Prytherch, Robin J. 1972. Some notes on the Birds of Point Tombo, 

Argentina. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 92 (5): 11 8- 129. 
Carrara, I. S. 1952. Lobos marinos, pinguinos y guaneros del littoral maritimo e islas adyacentes 

de la Republic a Argentina. La Plata. 
Conway, William. 1971. Predation on Penguins at Punta Tombo. Animal Kingdom August 

issue 1971 : 2-8. 
Durnford, Henry. 1878. Notes on the birds of Central Patagonia. Ibis (4) 2: 389-406. 
Erize, Francisco. 1970. Cormorants of South America. Animals 13 (5): 235-237. 
Escalante, Rodolfo. 1971. Addenda and Corrigenda to Aves Marinas del Rio de la Plata, ip. 

Montvideo: Barriero and Ramos. 
Johnson, A. W. 1965. The Birds of Chile. Buenos Aires: Graficos. 
Meyer de Schauensee, R. 1970. A Guide to the Birds of South America. Narbeth, Penn: 

Livingston. 
Murphy, R. C. 1936. The Oceanic Birds of South America. New York: American Museum of 

Natural History. 
Navas, Jorge R. 1970. Nuevos registros de Aves para la Patagonia. Neotropica 16 (49): 

11-16. 
Prytherch, R. J., Boswall, J., & Maclver, D. In preparation. Casual Notes on the Flying 

Steamer-duck. 

Regular Occurrence of Porphyrula martinica in 
South Africa 

by W. Roy Siegfried & P. G. H. Frost 

Received 2jth November 1972 
Ohlson (1972, Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 92: 92-93) has reported the occurrence of 
the American Gallinule Porphyrula martinica on the mid Atlantic islands of 
St. Helena and Ascension. The species is also a regular visitor to Tristan da 
Cunha (Elliott, 1957, Ibis 99: 545-586), To date. 11 specimens have been 

36 



obtained in South Africa (not 12 as stated by Broekhuysen 1971, Ostrich 42: 
78-79). These birds were found within 160 km of Cape Town (33° 55' S, 
1 8° 22' E). This paper reports a further record of P. martinica from Cape 
Town, and draws attention to the apparent regularity with which the species 
occurs in South Africa. 

The bird was found at Camps Bay, 10 km from Cape Town, on 20th May 
1972. It was rescued in an exhausted state from a cat, but rapidly recuperated 
when fed raw, lean beef. The bird was a first-year male in the process of 
acquiring adult plumage. It weighed 160 gm, 63 % of the mean weight for 20 
£$ recorded by Hartman (1961, Smith. Misc. Coll. 143: 1-91). Other re- 
corded weights of immatures (unsexed) recovered in South Africa are even 
lower, < 150 gm and 137 gm (Rowan & Winterbottom 1963, Ostrich 34: 
249-250; Winterbottom 1965, Ostrich 36: 90-91). Mensural data taken from 
the bird are: culmen and shield 45-5 mm, wing 183-0 mm; tarsus 64- 5 mm. 
The primaries and secondaries were unworn. The tail feathers were moulting. 
The adult purple abdominal and breast feathers were still sheathed at their 
bases, but the new bronze feathers of the upper parts were unsheathed. 

This represents the twelfth record of P. martinica in South Africa. Two 
birds were recovered in April, four in May, four in June, one in August and 
one of unknown date. During the decade 1 962-1 972, nine birds (all im- 
mature) appeared in South Africa. 1968, 1969 and 1971 were the only years 
in which American Gallinules were not recorded. Thus, the species may be 
regarded as a more or less annual vagrant to the southern tip of Africa. 

The prevailing winds over the south Atlantic during the austral autumn 
and winter are predominantly westerly, with winds of gale force being 
common. These conditions would favour forced down wind crossings of the 
south Atlantic by American Gallinules blown off course while either migrat- 
ing or dispersing along the south eastern seaboard of the new world. It 
is somewhat remarkable how regular and often this relatively weak flying 
species makes the 8000 km journey to South Africa. 

The peak of occurrence in South Africa (May-June) is about a month 
later than the peak on Tristan da Cunha (March-May, Rowan & Elliott, C. 
pers. comm.). This could suggest that the birds occurring in South Africa 
are secondarily derived from those on Tristan, where, having at least partially 
recovered, and still possibly being affected by the urge to migrate, they 
leave the Tristan group only to be transported westerly again to the southern 
tip of Africa. This suggested movement may explain why, in spite of the 
number of records down the years, there have been few reports of adults 
and no reports of attempted breeding on Tristan. 

This may also explain the species' occurrence on Ascension and St. 
Helena. Ohlson {pp. cit.) suggested that the Gallinules recorded there could 
have arrived via the south easterly trade winds (the prevailing winds in the 
mid Atlantic) after having been driven to the proximity of the African coast 
by the west winds of the south Atlantic. He alternatively suggested that the 
American Gallinules may have been derived directly from South America by 
being transported along the upper west wind layer that blows across the mid 
Atlantic at altitudes of 500 m and higher. However, in as much as they can 
be taken to mean anything, the dates of occurrence (in June) of the species 
on these islands slightly favour the first suggestion. 

The above comments are, of course, largely speculative. The lack of data 
on weights of birds occurring in any of these areas precludes any interpre- 
tation of movements based on the relative weight losses of individuals sur- 
viving the south Atlantic crossing. In future, it might be possible to examine 

37 



stomach contents, specifically grit, and feather minerals (see Hanson & Jones 
1968, Biol. Notes Illinois Nat. Hist. Surv. 60) in an attempt to determine not 
only an individual's origin but possibly also any stop-over localities. Anyone 
likely to gain possession of American Gallinules on either the mid or south 
Atlantic islands or in South Africa should bear this in mind. 



The Nesting of Feral Pigeons Columba livia in Trees 

by Jejfery Bos wall 

Received 1 9th January 1973 

At Derek Goodwin's suggestion I made a few notes when in Buenos Aires, 
Argentina, on 30th October 1972, on the nesting of Feral Pigeons Columba 
livia in the trees of the city's sidewalks and plazas. Plaza San Martin, for 
example, has a large number of very mature trees of a species that fork at 
anything from about three metres to about nine metres from the ground. In 
the crooks of these, the birds commonly build their nest, see Plates 1 and 2. 




Photo: Jejfery Boswall 

Plate i To show tree nest-site of Feral Pigeon Columbia livia, Plaza San Martin, Buenos 
Aires, Argentina. The nest is situated in the major "crook" of the tree immediately 
above the observer's head. 

38 




Photo: Jeffery Bo snail 

Plate 2 Feral pigeon Columba livia on typically exposed tree nest-site, Plaza San Martin, 
Buenos Aires, Argentina. 

Apart from the branches of the trees, the nests were fully exposed to the sky. 
One particularly exposed nest was built on the stump of a sawn off branch. 
The nest material was mainly small dry twigs. The half-dozen nests I could 
see into had small young. The birds also nest commonly on city buildings, I 
was told, and as in other cities are commonly fed by the human populace. 

One (rather poor) colour photograph submitted to Goodwin for deter- 
mination of the colour pattern types brought the following comment, "there 
seem to be 16 barred blues (the wild colour-pattern), 23 dark blue chequers, 
velvets or blacks (probably all these but hard to say . . .). one dominant red 
(ash red in American parlance), one dark blue chequer with many white 
primaries, and one that is either a mealy or a light drizzle". ( 



Tringa hypoleucos Linnaeus breeding in East Africa 

by G. R. Cunningham <& van Someren 

Received i$th December 1972 

The East African Natural History Society have been considering the question 
of naturalisation of some species generally regarded as migrants or other 
introduced species to East Africa. Forbes-Watson (1972). 

39 



The writer proposed that Himantopus himantopus (Linneaus) and Recurvi- 
rostra avosetta Linnaeus, which breed regularly at Lake Magadi Kenya, should 
be included, along with T. hypoleucos, as birds are present throughout the 
year and have been recorded as breeding, van Somerens (191 1). 

Backhurst (pers. comm.), editor of the Bulletin of the Society drew my 
attention to Benson et al. (1970) who quote Broekhuysen (1967) and Mack- 
worth-Praed & Grant (1952) who accept T. hypoleucos as a breeding species 
while Moreau (1966) and Chapin (1939) rejected the breeding record of the 
van Somerens and Meinertzhagen and thus Benson et al. (op. cit.) followed 
suit and also rejected the record. 

van Someren (1922, 1932) refers to this earlier breeding record but without 
re-quoting the data on which this was founded and doubtless the above-men- 
tioned writers have not accepted the bare statements of these papers. However 
I would draw attention firstly to the 191 1 work, "Studies of Birdlife in 
Uganda", where a photograph is reproduced, showing a bird on its nest in 
Uganda. The photograph was taken by Dr. R. A. L. van Someren and he des- 
cribes how this was achieved and further adds "breeding is during August and 
September". He describes the eggs. This statement was quoted by Mackworth- 
Praed & Grant (op. cit.). The volume of photographs and text is probably 
not readily available and was perhaps overlooked. 

Secondly van Someren (1936) writes of the Sandpiper "also resident in 
East Africa". He describes the nestling in down and under habits comments 
"is to a certain extent resident in both Kenya and Uganda and even breeds 
here" ..." nest and young have been recorded in Uganda in June and a bird 
in breeding condition shot in May" . . . "we have taken or observed these 
Sandpipers throughout all months of the year on Lakes Nakuru and Naiv- 
asha". Neither of these two papers are mentioned by Benson et. al (op. cit.). 

The fact that T. hypoleucos has been photographed on its nest in Uganda, 
the eggs and nestling described, etc., establishes the claim that it should now 
be considered an East African breeding species. It is certainly resident 
throughout the year in Kenya, as my own records show for my dam at 
Karen, near Nairobi. 

References : 

Benson, C. W., Brooke, R. K., Dowsett, R. J. & Stewart Irwin, M. P. 1970. Notes on the 

birds of Zambia: Part V Arnoldia Vol. 4 No. 40. 
Broekhuysen, G. 1967. Bird Migration in the southern part of the African continent. 

Vogelwarte, 24: 6-16. 
Chapin, J. P. 1939, 1954. The Birds of the Belgian Congo. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 75, 

75B. 
Forbes-Watson, A. 1972. Birds naturalised in East Africa. Bull. E. A. Nat. Hist. Soc, 

August. 
Mackworth-Praed, C. W. & Grant, C. H. B. 1952. The birds oj eastern and north-eastern Africa. 

I. London: Longmans. 
Moreau, R. E. 1966. The bird faunas oj Africa and its islands. London: Academic Press, 
van Someren, R. A. L. & van Someren, V. G. L. 191 1. Studies of Birdlife in Uganda. London: 

John Bale, Sons and Danielson. 
van Someren, V. G. L. 1922. Notes on the Birds of East Africa. Novitates Zoologicae Vol. 

XXIX. 

— 1932. Birds of Kenya and Uganda, being addenda and corrigenda to my previous paper 

in Novitates Zoologicae. Novitates Zoologicae Vol. XXXVIII. 

— 1936. The Birds of Kenya and Uganda. Jour. E. A. and U. Nat. Hist. Soc. Vol. XIII 

Nos. 1 and 2. Vol. II Part 5. 

40 



Seasonal movements of the black cuckoo-shrikes 

Campephaga phoenicea and C. flava, especially 

in eastern Africa 

by P. L. Br it ton 

The Campephaga phoenicea superspecies of Hall & Moreau (1970) ranges widely 
through Africa represented by three forms which are considered conspecific 
by White (1962). Two of these, C. phoenicea (Latham) and C. flava Vieillot, 
are apparently very tolerant ecologically, preferring woodland and savanna 
habitats, but found also in forest. The third form, C.petiti Oustalet, is a true 
forest bird confined to the more equable lower latitudes, and probably 
resident. The plots for all three forms in Hall & Moreau (pp. cit.) indicate 
eastern and western populations of each. Two of the forms are sympatric in 
several areas, with considerable overlap o£ phoenicea and flava in the east. All 
are more or less sympatric near the Equator in eastern Zaire and western 
Kenya, and in the latter area the situation is further complicated by the 
presence of the closely related, forest-dwelling C. quiscalina Finsch. Phoenicea 
is a northern form ranging from about 14 N to 4 S in the west, 16 N to 
1 ° S in the east ; while flava is a southern form ranging from about 5 ° S to 
22 S in the west, 5 N to 34 S in the east. 

There is considerable controversy and confusion surrounding the taxo- 
nomic treatment of the two non-forest forms. The otherwise black males 
usually have brightly coloured shoulder patches, most often red in phoenicea 
and yellow in flava; but this aspect is not at all consistent for either form, not 
even at one locality. In eastern Africa the vast majority of male flava are 
entirely black, especially in central and southern Tanzania and southern 
Uganda. About half of the males in several areas of Kenya and northern 
Tanzania have yellow shoulders, but at Kabete, near Nairobi all eighteen 
birds checked for this character by G. C. Backhurst (in litt.) were entirely 
black. An analysis of any regular movements in these forms should help in 
solving this complex problem; in particular whether areas of apparent 
sympatry are occupied by only non-breeding birds. 

The Common Black Cuckoo-Shrike C. flava was not included as a migrant 
by Moreau (1966). Yet as early as 1936 Priest had remarked that it is a breed- 
ing summer visitor to the Mashonaland plateau of Rhodesia; a view strongly 
supported by Vernon (1968) who suggested that the movement is altitudinal. 
Benson et al. (1970) showed that it is virtually absent from south-eastern 
plateau country, especially Zambia, from June to September. During the 
same period it is quite numerous below 3,500 ft.; a pattern which led the 
authors to believe that the great majority on the plateaus leave for the winter, 
moving generally eastwards into the low-lying valleys and Mozambique. 
Most recently, Prigogine (1972) has shown conclusively that in Zaire, ex- 
cluding Katanga, it is a seasonal visitor from May to October. Prigogine 
considered it possible that some at least of these birds originate from Katanga 
while others originate from East Africa. 

In order to investigate the situation in eastern Africa, dated records have 
been collected from resident observers and museum specimen labels, with 
the kind co-operation of many, all of whom are acknowledged later. The 710 
dated records from southern Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and southern 
Uganda are shown by months in Table 1. Monthly totals for this large area 

41 



TABLE 1 

Distribution of Campephaga flava records in eastern Africa by months 

J F M A M J Jl A S O N D Total 
Tanzania south of 7°S, 



west of 38°E, Songea 




























excluded 


5 


5 


3 


1 


- 


- 


- 


- 


1 


- 


- 


1 


16 


Songea District, S. Tanzania 


12 


3 


2 


1 


2 


2 


- 


- 


2 


12 


10 


16 


62 


Uganda ; Tanzania west of 




























33°E 


1 


2 


1 


1 


2 


5 


11 


9 


2 


- 


1 


1 


36 


S.W. Kenya, 0°-3° S, 




























34°-36° E 


2 


- 


- 


1 


3 


6 


14 


7 


3 


16 


- 


3 


55 


Central Tanzania, 4°-7°S, 




























33°-38°E 


2 


1 


- 


6 


1 


4 


- 


5 


5 


3 


4 


1 


32 


"Coast", south of 4°S, 




























east of 38°E 


1 


- 


5 


3 


3 


5 


6 


12 


18 


18 


5 


3 


79 


"Coast", north of 4°S, 




























east of 38°E 


- 


3 


3 


5 


2 


8 


9 


31 


2 


1 


2 


8 


74 


Kenya & N. Tanzania, north 




























of 4°S, 36°-38°E, Nairobi & 




























Kabete excluded 


11 


10 


12 


6 


10 


15 


14 


23 


19 


10 


3 


7 


140 


Kabete, near Nairobi 


1 


3 


- 


2 


1 


2 


8 


11 


15 


28 


1 


- 


72 


Nairobi area, Kabete 




























excluded 


2 


3 


3 


6 


8 


4 


10 


17 


16 


11 


5 


2 


87 


Kenya, 0°-2°N, 34°-36°E 


3 


5 


1 


1 


- 


6 


13 


2 


8 


12 


3 


3 


57 


Total north of 7°S 


23 


27 


25 


31 


30 


55 


85 


117 


88 


99 


24 


28 


632 


Total south of 7°S 


17 


8 


5 


2 


2 


2 


- 


- 


3 


12 


10 


17 


78 



Total 40 35 30 33 32 57 85 117 91 111 34 45 710 

show that 70 per cent of records from north of 7 S fall in the months June 
to October, whereas 78 per cent of records from south of 7 S fall outside 
this period. Since the more or less coincident period from May to October 
is the time of the invasion in much of Zaire (Prigogine op. cit.) it is probably 
unreasonable to suppose that Zaire birds originate from anywhere but the 
south. Furthermore, the absence from south-eastern plateau country outlined 
above, documented in particular for Rhodesia and Zambia, more or less 
coincides with this invasion. 

In the eight months from October to May, Benson et al. (op. cit.) had 300 
specimen records from plateaus above 3,500 ft., compared with only about 
100 from the whole area considered, including the plateaux, for the four 
months June to September. The fact that there were fewer data per month 
in the latter period is probably partly the result of less collecting in low- 
lying Mozambique than in either Rhodesia or Zambia; but the difference may 
also be due to a departure of some of these plateau-breeding birds from the 
whole area considered between June and September, not simply a movement 
within the area. It is likely that a proportion of individuals move into low- 
lying areas like Mozambique while others move to lower latitudes, into Zaire 
and eastern Africa. The Katanga region of southern Zaire is geographically 
intermediate which accounts for the more or less even distribution of records 
through the year (Prigogine op. cit.). Katanga data probably refer to both 
breeding birds and wintering birds, including passage migrants, and do not 
necessarily imply that birds in this area are resident. 

42 



The movements of Cossypba natalensis hylophona Clancey described by 
Britton (1971) are somewhat analogous since eastern Rhodesia plateau 
breeders move eastwards into Mozambique from about April to August, at 
which time birds breeding in southern and south-western Zambia, and 
adjacent areas, move northwards into Katanga and Moxico (Angola). These 
two breeding populations are quite disjoint so that it is comparatively easy 
to assign disjoint wintering areas to them. This is not the case with C. flava 
however, so that it is not possible to know which move to lower altitudes 
and which move to lower latitudes in the cold weather (dry season). 

Non-coastal Tanzania south of about 7 S may be considered a part of the 
south-eastern plateau, receiving most of its rain from December to April 
(Griffiths 1958). All but one of the records from this area, Songea excluded, 
are for these months, when Lynes (1934 and specimen labels in B.M.[N.H.]) 
recorded considerable gonad activity in the majority of his specimens from 
Iringa and the Njombe Highlands. The data for Songea District, lying south 
of io° S, are those of I. H. Dillingham {in lift,) who was resident there from 
March 1 9 5 4 to July 1956. The bulk of records (80 per cent) refer to the period 
October to January, which are the months of egg-laying in adjacent Malawi 
and Zambia (Benson et al. 1964). Dillingham had no records for July or 
August, and returning from leave on 29th May 1955 he did not record this 
species until 20th September. 

Southern Uganda and Tanzania west of 33 E, mainly the north-west, 
are peripheral to Prigogine's area, and evidently receive the same invasion 
from the south, with 26 out of 35 records in the three months June to 
August. Similarly south-western Kenya and adjacent Tanzania from the 
Equator to 3 S, 34 to 3 6° E, where 46 out of 5 5 records are for the months 
June to October (only three in September). In central Tanzania, 4 to 7 S, 
33 to 3 8° E, there is evidence of passage birds, with 28 out of 32 records in 
the months March to May and August to November, and none in July which 
is the peak month to the north-west. In much of eastern Africa and Zaire the 
situation is complicated by the presence of breeding birds, but breeding is 
l unknown and probably rare in the foregoing areas. 

In coastal Tanzania, south of 4 S, 33 to 3 8° E, an area which includes also 
extreme south-eastern Kenya, the majority (48 out of 79) of records fall in 
; the months August to October. There are however records for all months 
' except February, and breeding is known from this area. Sclater & Moreau 
(1933) mention a nest with naked nestlings at Amari on 26th October, and 
Vaughan (1930) considers it probably resident on Zanzibar with a breeding 
season about October. In fact all three December records refer to the Usam- 
bara Mountains which include Amani, so that there is only one record for 
the coastal lowlands in the months December to February. In the mainly low- 
lying areas of eastern Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia, east of 3 8° E, north of 
4 S, 65 per cent of records are for the months of June to August, especially 
August with 3 1 out of a total of 74 records. All months except January are 
represented, with as many as eight in December. Almost half of the eastern 
Tanzania records are for the months September and October compared with 
only three out of 74 for these months further north in eastern Africa; a 
situation suggesting a southern origin for many individuals, returning south 
fairly early and hardly occurring north of 4 S after the peak month of August. 
East of 3 8° E it hardly occurs north of z° S, and the population in south- 
eastern Ethiopia at about 5 ° N is an anomaly mentioned in more detail later. 

43 



During 25 years as a resident of Korogwe in north-eastern Tanzania, 
Archbold (1972) has recorded it only three times, in September, October and 
November. 

The remaining, mainly highland areas of Kenya and northern Tanzania 
show the same June to October peak, but complicated by the presence of 
breeding birds and possible altitudinal movements within these areas. J. S. S. 
Beesley {in litt.) found three nests between 1,500 and 1,700 m a.s.l. in the 
Arusha National Park, northern Tanzania, indicating egg-laying in December 
January and April. Two eggs from Emali Hill, Sultan Hammud, Kenya col- 
lected by V. G. L. van Someren on 30th March 1940 were from one of 
several nests found on a visit to this area (G. R. Cunningham-van Someren 
in lift.). The same writer informs me of a nest at Karen, near Nairobi in May. 
A female with a large shell-less egg in its oviduct collected at Eldama Ravine 
on 4th April, and reported by Jackson (1938), is the only further Kenya 
breeding record. According to Urban & Brown (1971) it has been recorded 
breeding in Ethiopia in April and possibly in February, the latter being a bird 
with testes greatly enlarged collected at Yavello (B.M. [N.H.] collection). 
All of the above breeding sites are at about 1,500 m (a little under 5,000 ft.) 
or higher. 

The fact that 62 per cent of the 3 5 1 records for this large area of Kenya and 
northern Tanzania are for the four months July to October strongly suggests 
that some at least are birds breeding in the southern tropics. No month lacks 
records completely however due to the presence of a minority of breeding 
birds. At Kabete, near Nairobi the observations of G. C. Backhurst {in litt) 
and others over several years show a still clearer pattern with 62 out of 72 
records for the months July to October. Surprisingly, 28 of these are for 
October, very late if they are indeed southern breedej s. Some at least may be 
birds breeding at higher elevations in Kenya and northern Tanzania from 
about November to January, wandering to lower areas during the cold, 
damp months. The pattern is clear at other sites also, for example at Naivasha 
in the Rift Valley where all records are in July (three), August (four) and 
October (three). 

In view of the April to October pattern of occurrences in south-western 
Zaire, documented by Prigogine {op. cit.), western birds probably move 
mainly northwards into this and adjacent areas during the dry season. 
Further south in Angola this is evidently a bird of plateau country breeding 
in October (Traylor 1963). It is unlikely that there is any regular altitudinal 
movement in Angola in view of the total lack of records from the coastal 
lowlands. I have not attempted to investigate the movements of western 
birds in any detail. 

The Red-shouldered Cuckoo-Shrike C. pboenicea has been known to be 
migratory in parts of West Africa for some years, but regular movements 
have not been suspected elsewhere. Bannerman (1953) considered it partially 
migratory in Gambia, Sierra Leonne and Ghana, and Elgood (1959) con- 
sidered it the only undoubtedly migratory African passerine at Ibadan, 
Nigeria. Elgood et a/, (in press) have little doubt that it is truly migratory in 
western Nigeria, though not so in the east where, for example, it occurs 
around Enugu throughout the year. In the west it breeds in the north during 
the rains, retreating to the more equable lowland forest belt (for example at 
Ibadan) from about November to April. 

44 



Table 2 shows dated records of C. phoenicea from throughout its range. 
Sight records have been included for Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya; elsewhere 

TABLE 2 

Distribution of C. phoenicea records by months 

J F M A M J Jl A S N D Total 
Nigeria (9) & west (26), 

north of 7^ N -1638944---- 35 

Nigeria (2) & west (10), 

south of 7i°N 17__2------2 12 

Cameroon 31-1221----- 10 

Sudan & Zaire 553515222--1 31 

Ethiopia & Somalia 9 6 7 6 10 10 3 4 1 1 8 19 84 

Uganda & W. Kenya 888954534345 66 

Total 26 28 24 24 28 30 15 13 7 4 12 27 238 

specimens only. Data from Nigeria and further west are split into those 
respectively north and south of 7^° N. In this area the northern limit of low- 
land forest varies from about 6° N to 9 N, rendering 7-J N a somewhat 
arbitrary line. Nevertheless a clear pattern emerges, with 34 out of 35 
northern specimens between March and August, and 10 out of 12 southern 
specimens between December and February (the two in May are from the 
Prah River, southern Ghana). Bannerman {op. cit.) noted that it is seen only 
during the northern winter at Kumasi in southern Ghana, while in Sierra 
Leone it is more often seen from May to December. Sierra Leone specimens 
in Table 2 were collected in February, March (three), Mat and June (five), 
and all refer to the lowland forest belt, here extending to about 9 N. Some 
West African birds are no doubt more or less resident or at most wanderers, 
but the well-documented Nigerian pattern of a northward movement during 
the wet summer (breeding) months of March or April to September or 
October is widely applicable west of about 8° E. 

Data from east of Nigeria show no clear pattern. The fact that only 21 per 
cent of records from throughout its range refer to the five months July to 
November invalidates any inference drawn from the comparative lack of 
records east of Nigeria during this period. This is especially true since these 
months follow the bulk of breeding in the northern tropics, so that if any- 
thing numbers should be swollen by the presence of young birds in the popu- 
lation. Such a lack represents either a lack of collecting during these months 
or an overall movement into little-worked areas. No pattern was evident 
when the records were accurately mapped, nor when areas like Ethiopia were 
split into highland and lowland regions. 

Despite the lack of an overall pattern east of 8° E it is likely that this 
species wanders somewhat randomly over considerable distances, with a 
minority performing regular movements comparable to those further west. 
Ignoring the atypical western highlands of Ethiopia which extend north to 
about 1 6° N, the most northerly specimens are from about 12 N in the 
Sudan. Since they were taken by only three collectors these few specimens 
represent a biased sample, referring to April, June (two), July (four), 
August (five) and September. Despite the bias they indicate a northward 
movement during the summer rains, when Lynes (1925) recorded it breeding 
in July in the Darfur region of western Sudan. In contrast the unbiased 
records of Rev. P. J. Hamel {in litt.) and other residents of the Kampala area 

45 



of southern Uganda, virtually on the Equator, are mainly (24 out of 29) for 
the four months January to April, peaking in February (nine records). Some 
at least of these records probably refer to non-breeding visitors from the 
north, although it is known to breed in the south of its range also. Seth-Smith 
(191 3) collected a clutch at Mpumu in southern Uganda on 3 1st March; van 
Someren (19 16) collected a clutch at the Sezebwa River in southern Uganda 
in April; and Tennent (1965) watched a pair building at Kakemaga Forest in 
western Kenya in early June. 

The important areas of apparent sympatry oi flava and phoenicea are south- 
western Uganda, extreme western Kenya between Mt. Elgon and the Kavir- 
ondo Gulf, southern Ethiopia, and southern Sudan (a single male flava col- 
lected at Gilo). It has already been shown that southern Uganda flava are 
off-season birds breeding further south. In Central Nyanza, western Kenya, 
where I have been resident for over four years, I have recorded phoenicea only 
six times, in January, June, July (three) and October. These and the few 
other western Kenya records hardly overlap geographically with, flava which 
occurs only to the north and east, and not to the north-west of this area, 
there being no Uganda records of flava east of Kampala. In the area of 
apparent sympatry (Central Nyanza, Kakamega, Kaimosi), 91 per cent of the 
34 flava records fall in the months May to October when southern breeding 
birds probably penetrate beyond the Equator; so that the vast majority of 
flava may be considered non-breeders in the area of sympatry. The few 
Ethiopian specimens of flava are an anomaly since the only other specimens 
north of 2 N are from Kenya between z° and 3^-° N in March, June (three), 
July (two), and a single specimen from southern Sudan in March. The 
scattered Kenya birds are probably mainly southern breeders but the few 
Ethiopian birds ate likely to be more or less resident in view of two breeding 
records and the fact that they refer to the months February, June, July, 
September and December. This isolated population occurs east of the Rift, 
the male specimens available to me being from around 5 N. Only a single 
Ethiopian specimen of phoenicea is from south of the restricted flava area, and 
the vast majority of Ethiopian phoenicea are from the Rift and further north- 
west. Immatures and females have been ignored in critical areas, being mainly 
indeterminable. 

Prigogine {op. cit.) has shown that the two closely allied forms, C. flava and 
C. petiti, overlap geographically in Zaire at a time when neither is breeding. 
In the areas of sympatry of phoenicea and flava the latter is a non-breeding 
visitor except in south-eastern Ethiopia where the few phoenicea are probably 
wanderers. The single Kenya nesting record of phoenicea is from an area where 
petiti is common, but there is no competition between these forms since 
petiti is found only in true forest. The phoenicea were building in an isolated 
forest patch. 

SUMMARY 

Account has been taken of 710 dated records of C am pephaga flava from 
eastern Africa, and of 238 dated records of C. phoenicea from throughout its 
range, with a view to establishing the nature of any movements. 

C. flava breeding in southern Africa north to about 7 S in the east, 9 or 
io° S in the west, are mainly not resident, leaving plateau country during the 
dry months of May to September or October. Some move to lower altitudes 
at similar latitudes, especially into low-lying Mozambique, while others move 
north to lower latitudes. The latter account for the majority of records in 

46 



Zaire (excluding Katanga), Tanzania north of 7 S, southern Uganda and 
Kenya, exceptionally north to 3 N but mainly north to about the Equator. 
There are locally breeding, morphologically indistinguishable birds in high- 
land areas of eastern Zaire, northern Tanzania and Kenya which probably 
move altitudinally to some extent. A localized population in south-eastern 
Ethiopia is an anomaly and probably mainly resident. 

C. phoenicea is migratory in west Africa east to about 8° E, moving north 
from the lowland forest belt to breed during the rains from March or April to 
September or October. Further east movements are not clear-cut except at 
the northern and southern extremities of its range, in the Sudan and southern 
Uganda respectively, where the pattern of records follows that established 
for West Africa. Elsewhere movements are probably in the nature of random 
wanderings. It breeds locally throughout its range. 

In the areas of apparent sympatry of these two non-forest forms in eastern 
Africa, flava is a non-breeding visitor except in south-eastern Ethiopia where 
the few phoenicea are probably wanderers. It is unlikely that they ever 
interbreed. 



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 

I am very grateful to the following who supplied personal records : Miss 
P. M. Allen, Dr. J. S. Ash, G. C. Backhurst, J. S. S. Beesley, A. Beverly, 
Miss E. J. Blencowe, Mrs. S. Brashaw, G. R. Cunningham-van Someren, 
I. H. Dillingham, Dr. P. Duffus, Mrs. F. Edwards, L. A. Haldane, Rev. 
P. J. Hamel, W. G. Harvey, Dr. W. Leuthold, C. F. Mann, P. J. Oliver, 
J. F. Reynolds, V. R. Simpson, Dr. N. J. Skinner, C. Smeenk, Dr. E. K. 
Urban. The following kindly supplied data on the specimens in the institu- 
tions shown in parenthesis after their names: Prof J. Berlioz (Museum 
National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris), G. M. Bond (Snithsomian Inst.), Dr. 
F. B. Gill (Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia), Dr. J. van der Land 
(Leiden Museum), K. C. Parkes (Carnegie Museum, Pittsburg), Dr. R. B. 
Payne (Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan), Dr. R. A. Paynter 
(Museum of Comp. Zoology, Harvard), Dr. F. Salomonsen (Universitetets 
Zoologiske Museum, Copenhagen), K. E. Stager (Los Angeles County 
Museum), Major M. A. Traylor (Field Museum, Chicago), Dr. H. E. Wolters 
(Zoologisches Museum Alexander Koenig, Bonn.) Rev. P. J. Hamel kindly 
sent records from the monthly duplicated newsletter of Uganda biid records, 
1 969-1 972; and Dr. C. H. Fry kindly sent details of C phoenicea from Elgood 
et al. (in press). I have used the unpublished notes of A. F. Morrison lodged 
in the National Museum Library, Nairobi. The Directors of the British 
Museum (Natural History) and the National Museum, Nairobi kindly allowed 
me access to their collections. 

References : 

If published data were also supplied in a list of specimens the reference is not given. Those 

marked with an asterisk are data sources not mentioned in the text. 

Archbold, M. E. 1972. Exceptional bird activity at Korogwe, Tanzania. Bull. E.A.N.H.S., 

1972: 45-47. 
*Bannerman, D. A. 19 10. On a collection of birds made by Mr. A. B. Percival in British 

East Africa. Ibis 4 (9): 676-710. 
— 1953. The Birds of West and Equatorial Africa. Edinburgh & London: Oliver & Boyd. 
Benson, C. W., Brooke, R. K. & Vernon, C. J. 1964. Bird breeding data for the Rhodesias 

and Nyasaland. Occ. Pap. natn. Mus. Sth. Rhod. 27B: 30-105. 

47 



Benson, C. W., Brooke, R. K., Dowsett, R. J. & Irwin, M. P. S. 1970. Notes on the birds 

of Zambia: part V. Arnoldia {Rhodesia) 4 (40). 
Britton, P. L. 1971. On the apparent movements of Cossypha natalensis. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 

91: 137-144. 
Elgood, J. H. 1959. Bird migration at Ibadan, Nigeria. Ostrich, Suppl. 3: 306-316. 
Elgood, J. H., Fry, C. H. & Dowsett, R. J. in press. African migrants in Nigeria. Ibis. 
*Friedmann, H. 1937. Birds collected by the Childs Frick Expedition to Ethiopia and Kenya 

Colony. Part 2, Passeres. Bull. U.S. Nat. Mus. 153. 
*Friedmann, H. & Loveridge, A. 1937. Notes on the ornithology of tropical East Africa. 

Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 81 (1). 
Granvik, H. 1923. Contributions to the knowledge of East African ornithology. Birds 

collected by the Swedish Mount Elgon Expedition, 1920./. Orn. 71 : 1-280. 
Griffiths, J. F. 1958. The climatic zones of East Africa. E. Afr. Agric.Journ., 1958: 179-185. 
Hall, B. P. & Moreau, R. E. 1970. An atlas of speciation in African passerine birds. London: 

British Museum (Nat. Hist.). 
Jackson, F. J. 1938. The Birds of Kenya Colony and the Uganda Protectorate. London: 

Gurney & Jackson. 
Lynes, H. 1925. On the birds of north and central Darfur (part). Ibis 12 (1): 71-131. 
— 1934. Contribution to the ornithology of southern Tanganyika Territory. Birds of the 

Ubena-Uhehe highlands and Iringa uplands. 

/. Orn. 82: 1-147. 
Moreau, R. E. 1966. The bird faunas of Africa and its islands. London: Academic Press. 
*Norris, E. 1970. Letter. Newsletter E.A.N.H.S., 1970: 22. 
Priest, CD. 1936. The birds of Southern Rhodesia. 4. London: William Clowes. 
Prigogine, A. The seasonal migrations of the Common Black Cuckoo-Shrike Campephaga 

f'ava Viellot. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 92: 83-90. 
Sclater, W. L. & Moreau, R. E. 1933. Taxonomic and field notes on some birds of north- 
eastern Tanganyika Territory (part). Ibis (13) 3: 187-219. 
Tennent, J. R. M. 1965. Notes on the birds of Kakamega Forest. //. E. Afr. nat. Hist. 

Soc. 25 (2): 95-100. 
Traylor, M. A. 1963. Checklist of Angolan birds. Publ. Cult. Comp. Cia. Diamant. Angola 61. 
*Tweedy, C. J. 1966. A list of birds seen in southern Tanzania. Tang. Notes <& Rec. 25(3): 

179-188. 
Urban, E. K. & Brown, L. H. 1971. A checklist of the birds of Ethiopia. Addis Ababa: 

Haile Selassie I Un. Press, 
van Someren, V. G. L. 1916. A list of birds collected in Uganda and British East Africa, 

with notes on their nesting and other habits. Ibis. (10) 4: 193-252, 373-472. 
* — 1 921. On a collection of birds from Turkanaland. //. E. Afr. <& Uganda nat. Hist. Soc. 

16:3-38. 
* — 1928. Notes on the birds of Jubaland and the Northern Frontier, Kenya. //. E. Afr. & 

Uganda nat. Hist. Soc. 35 : 25-70. 
Vaughan, J. H. The birds of Zanzibar and Pemba (part). Ibis (12) 6: 1-48. 
Vernon, C. J. 1968. A year's census of Manardellas, Rhodesia. Ostrich 39: 12-24. 
White, C. M. N. 1962. A revised checklist of African shrikes, etc., Lusaka: Govt. Printer. 
* Williams, J. G. 1947. Notes on the monthly rambles of the E.A.N.H.S. Nat. E. Afr. 3 : 22. 







48 



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Published by the BRITISH ORNITHOLOGISTS' CLUB and printed by 
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-•»• n 






NAT 



HIST ^ 

2 6JUNI973 1 






Bulletin of the 



British Ornithologists' Club 




Edited by 
C. W. BENSON 



Volume 93 No. 2 



June 1973 



Committee 

Sir Hugh Elliott, Bt., o.b.e. {Chairman) 

J. H. Elgood {Vice-Chairman) 

C. W. Benson, o.b.e. {Editor) 

R. E. F. Peal {Hon. Secretary) 

P. Tate {Hon. Treasurer) 

J. H. R. Boswall 

Dr. P. J. K. Burton 

P. Hogg 

C. J. Mead 



to 

tew 



Bulletin of the 

BRITISH ORNITHOLOGISTS' CLUB 

Vol. 93 No. 2 Published: 20 June, 1973 

The six hundred and eighty-first meeting of the Club was held at the Cafe 
Royal, 68 Regent Street, London, W.i, on Tuesday, 20th March, 1973 at 

7P- m \ 

Chairman: Sir Hugh Elliott, Bt., o.b.e.; present 26 members and 22 guests. 

The speaker was Mr. Guy Mountfort, o.b.e., who gave an illustrated 

address on his recent visit to India, Pakistan and Nepal. 



The six hundred and eighty-second meeting of the Club was held at the 
Cafe Royal, 68 Regent Street, London, W.i, on Tuesday, 8th May, 1973 at 
7 p.m. 

Chairman: Sir Hugh Elliott, Bt., o.b.e.; present 16 members and seven 
guests. 

The speaker was Mr. Tom Harrisson, d.s.o., o.b.e., who opened with 
some amusing recollections of meetings of the Club at the time when he had 
last spoken, 40 years previously. He then gave an illustrated address on the 
birds and bird cult of Easter Island and a fuller report on this will be pub- 
lished in a future number of the Bulletin. 

Annual General Meeting 

The eighty-first Annual General Meeting of the British Ornithologists' 
Club was held at the Cafe Royal, 68 Regent Street, London, W.i, on Tues- 
day, 8th May 1973 at 6 p.m. with Sir Hugh Elliott, Bt., o.b.e., in the Chair. 

Eight members were present. 

The Minutes of the 1972 Annual General Meeting [Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 
92 : 69-70) were approved and signed. 

After a brief discussion on the Report of the Committee for 1972 {Bull. 
Brit. Orn. CI. 93 : 1-2), Mr. C. J. Mead proposed and Mr. J. H. Elgood 
seconded the adoption of the Report of the Committee for 1972 and this was 
carried unanimously. 

Presenting the Accounts for 1972 {Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 93: 50-51) the 
Hon. Treasurer stated that 1972 was notable for the unusually large receipts 
from sales of back-numbers of the Bulletin. It was extremely unlikely that they 
could be maintained at about £400 a year and in addition the printers had 
just announced a 10% increase in theit charges for printing, which would 
cost the Club about £90 in the current year and some £120 in a full year. 
The charge for subscribers to the Bulletin had been raised in 1972 from £3 to 
£3. 50, to take effect from 1st January 1973, which would bring in about £50 
more, but an increase in membership was essential. The Hon. Secretary 
stated that a leaflet, which it was hoped would produce more new members, 
would be distributed in the July Ibis. Mrs. J. D. Bradley proposed and Mr. 
J. H. Elgood seconded that the Accounts for 1972 be adopted and this was 
carried unanimously. 

There being no nominations additional to those of the Committee, the 
following elections were made: — 

Hon. Secretary: Mr. R. E. F. Peal (re-elected) 

[continued page 52] 

49 



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Hon. Treasurer: Mr. P. Tate (re-elected) 

Committee: Mr. J. H. R. Bos wall 

The Editor stated that the publication of the Bulletin quarterly had pre- 
sented no great difficulties. There were ample papers of a high standard being 
offered but the average time from receipt to publication was only four 
months. 

The meeting closed at 6.25 p.m. 



A recent immigrant to Ontong Java atoll, 
Solomon Islands 

by T. P. Bayliss-Smith 

Received 2nd April, 1975 

The work of MacArthur & Wilson (1967) is founded on the notion that on an 
island there exists a tendency towards an equilibrium condition in its biota. 
An equilibrial species number is reached at the intersection point between 
the curve of rate of immigration of new species not already on the island, and 
the curve of extinction of species from the island. The general idea of a 
balance of immigration by extinction was originally suggested to these 
authors by the impoverished bird faunas of the islands of central and eastern 
Polynesia (MacArthur & Wilson 1963). The theory has received empirical 
support from some remarkable experiments by Simberloff & Wilson 
(1969—70) on the recolonization of depopulated mangrove islands by insects, 
and from the work of Diamond (1969, 1971) on the turnover rates of the bird 
populations of Californian and New Guinean islands. One disadvantage of 
these studies is the cross-sectional character of the field data. The island 
populations are surveyed at intervals in time, but little is known about what 
happens in between surveys. The actual processes of immigration and 
extinction must usually be deduced from considerations of island size and 
distance from the source area. 

It is of interest, therefore, to record an actual case of the colonization of an 
island by a new bird species. The birds of Ontong Java atoll, Solomon 
Islands, were observed over a one-year period from June 1970 to May 1971. 
Eight species of land birds were recorded of which seven were breeding 
residents and one, Eudynamis taitensis, was a seasonal migrant (Bayliss-Smith 
1972). In July 1972 the atoll was revisited. A new species, Eos cardinalis, the 
Cardinal Lory, was found to be present. A noisy flock of about twelve of 
these long-tailed scarlet parrots was seen on several occasions on Luangiua 
islet. Reliable native informants stated that these unmistakable newcomers 
were present on all the islets between Keila and Henguakaha on the southern 
and eastern sides of the atoll. They have been named "kesivi", and were first 
seen after a period of south-westerly gales at the beginning of June 1972. 
These winds were generated by Cyclone Ida, a small hurricane which formed 
on May 31st over the ocean east of Bougainville and moved during the 
following day southwards and eastwards across Choiseul and Santa Isabel, 
causing much local destruction (British Solomon Islands 1972). Eos cardinalis 
is exceedingly numerous throughout the Solomon Islands from Nissan to 
Ugi, and "large flocks . . . are often seen flying from one island to the next" 
(Mayr 1945 : 230). It must be assumed that one such flock was blown out to 

5 2 



sea by the hurricane and found refuge on Ontong Java, which lies 250 km 
north-east of Choiseul and Santa Isabel. 

Four months after its first arrival Eos appeared to be flourishing in its new 
atoll environment. Although there were no reports of nesting, there seems 
to be no reason why a breeding population should not become established. 
The vegetation of the islets where it has settled is mainly coconut woodland, 
a habitat very similar to the coastal coconut plantations of the Solomon 
Islands where Eos is so numerous. There are already complaints by local 
people of damage caused by the birds to the flowers of coconut palms. The 
ecology of the species involved is not well known, but it is probable that 
Eos will compete both for food and nest sites with the two Ontong Java 
pigeons Ducula pacifica and Caloenas nicobarka, and possibly also with the 
Atoll Starling Aplonis feadensis. It will be interesting to see in the future 
whether the atoll can accommodate the newcomer without the displacement 
of one of the existing residents, or whether a total of eight land birds is in 
fact the equilibrium species number for an atoll of this size. 

References : 

British Solomon Islands : 1972. The fury of Cyclone Ida. BSI News Sheet 1972 (11) ,1-15 

June. Honiara: Government Printer. 
Bayliss-Smith, T. P. 1972. The birds of Ontong Java and Sikaiana, Solomon Islands. Bull. 

Brit. Orn. CI. 92: 1-10. 
Diamond, J. M. 1969. Avifaunal equilibria and species turnover rates on the Channel 

Islands of California. Nat. Acad. Sci., Proc. 64: 57-63. 
Diamond, J. M. 1971. Comparison of faunal equilibrium turnover rates on a tropical island 

and a temperate island. Nat. Acad. Sci., Proc. 68: 2742-2745. 
MacArthur, R. H. & Wilson, E. O. 1963. An equilibrium theory of insular biogeography. 

Evolution 17: 373-387. 
MacArthur, R. H. & Wilson, E. O. 1967. The Theory of Island Biogeography. Princeton, New 

Jersey: Univ. Press. 
Mayr, E. 1945. Birds of the Southwest Pacific. New York: Macmillan. 
Simberloff, D. S. & Wilson, E. O. 1969-70. Experimental zoogeography of islands. 1. The 

colonization of empty islands. 2. A two-year record of colonization. Ecology 50: 

278-296, and 51: 934-937. 



The correct spelling of Scopoli's specific name for the 
Maylaysian Crested Wood Partridge (Rollulus) 

by John Farrand^ Jr. <& Storrs L. Olson 

Received 16th February, iyjj 

For more than a century the specific name of the Malaysian Crested Wood 
Partridge has been subject to persistent mis-spelling. Some authors have 
listed the species as Rollulus rouloul (Scopoli) but most, inserting a second r, 
have cited it as Rol/us roulroul, still under the authorship of Scopoli. Basing 
his description on "Le Rouloul de Malacca" of Sonnerat (1782: 174, 286, 
pi. 100), Scopoli (1786: 93) named the bird Phasianus {Rouloul). Owing 
perhaps to the rarity of Scopoli's publication, his name was subsequently 
overlooked, generally in favour of Columba cristata Gmelin (1788, vol. 1, 
pt. 2 : 774). The vernacular name "Rouloul" did, however, serve as the basis 
for the genus Rollulus Bonnaterre (1791, vol. 1 : xciii). 

Scopoli's name was resurrected by G. R. Gray (1844: 42; 1846, vol. 
3: 507; 1870: 269) who unfortunately mis-spelled it roulroul. Since the 

53 



publication of these works by Gray, the spelling roulroul has appeared 
frequently in the literature, and with the use of this spelling by Ogilvie- 
Grant (1893 : 225), who evidently followed Gray, and by Peters (1934: 104), 
the erroneous spelling has all but supplanted that appearing in Scopoli's 
original description. Notable exceptions have been, among others, the 
several papers on the birds of Borneo by R. B. Sharpe (1876: 51; 1879: 270; 
1 881 : 800; 1890: 140) and by Salvadori (1874: 308), in which the bird is 
listed as Kollulus rouloul. Baker employed both spellings in the second edition 
of the Fauna of British India, calling the species Kollulus roulroul in Volume 5 
(1928: 368) and Kollulus rouloul in Volume 7 (1930: 459). More recently, the 
original spelling of Scopoli has been used by Smythies (i960: 168; 1968: 
172). Most other works published within the last fifty years have listed the 
species as Kollulus roulroul. 

We are not aware of any published, formal emendation of Scopoli's name. 
Indeed, such an emendation would not be justified, since there was no error 
on Scopoli's part. He based the name on "Le Rouloul" of Sonnerat, who 
clearly intended this spelling, as it reappears in the second edition of his 
Voyage (1806: 300). It is evident therefore that Scopoli's original spelling 
should be used and that the Malaysian Crested Wood Partridge should be 
referred to as Kollulus rouloul (Scopoli). This spelling may be adopted without 
application to the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature, 
since it has been used within the last fifty years, and therefore is not a nomen 
oblitum as defined in Article 23b of the 1961 and 1964 International Code of 
Zoological Nomenclature (see also Corliss 1972). 

We would like to thank S. Dillon Ripley and George E. Watson for 
helpful suggestions during the preparation of this manuscript, and Jack F. 
Marquardt for making it possible for us to examine an original copy of 
Scopoli's Deliciae in the Smithsonian Institution libraries. 

References : 

Baker, E. C. S. 1922-1930. The Fauna of British India. Birds. 2nd ed. 8 vols. London: Taylor 

& Francis. 
Bonnaterre, J . P. 1 790- 1823. Tableau Encyclopedique et Methodique des Trois Regnes de la Nature. 

Ornithologie . 4 vols. Paris. (Pages lxxxi to scvii and 1 to 192 of Volume 1 were published 

in 1791.) 
Corliss, J. O. 1972. Priority and stability in zoological nomenclature: resolution of the 

problem of Article 23b at the Monaco Congress. Science 178: 1120. 
Gmelin, J. F. 1788-1793. Systema Naturae. 13th ed. 3 vols. Leipzig. 
Gray, G. R. 1844. List of the Specimens of Birds in the Collection of the British Museum, Part III. 

London: British Museum. 

— 1 844-1 849. The Genera of Birds. 3 vols. London : Longmans, Brown, Green & Longmans. 

(Pages 504 to 508 of Volume 3 were published in January 1846.) 

— 1870. Hand-list of Genera and Species of Birds, Part II. London : British Museum. 
Ogilvie-Grant, W. R. 1893. Catalogue of the Game Birds in the Collection of the British Museum- 

London (Cat. Birds Brit. Mus., Vol. XXII). 
Peters, J. L. 1934. Check-list of the Birds of the World. Vol. 2. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard 

University Press. 
Salvadori, T. 1874. Catalogo sistematico degli uccelli di Borneo. Ann. Mus. Civ. Stor. Nat. 

Genova 5 : 1-429. 
Scopoli, G. A. 1786. Deliciae Florae et Faunae Insubricae. Pars II. Pa via. 
Sharpe, R. B. 1876. Contributions to the ornithology of Borneo. Part 1. Ibis (3)6: 29-52. 

— 1879. Contributions to the ornithology of Borneo. Part 4. Ibis (4) 3 : 233-272. 

— 1 88 1. On the birds of Sandakan, north-east Borneo. Proc. Zool. Soc. London: 790-800. 

— 1890. On the ornithology of northern Borneo. Part 6. Ibis (6) 2: 133-149. 
Smythies, B. E. i960. The Birds of Borneo. Edinburgh & London: Oliver & Boyd. 

— 1968. The Birds of Borneo, 2nd ed. Edinburgh & London: Oliver & Boyd. 
Sonnerat, P. 1782. Voyage aux Indes Orientales et a la Chine. 2 vols. Paris. 

— 1 806. Voyage aux Indes Orientales et a la Chine. Nouv. ed. 4 vols. Paris. 

54 



Notes on a Lanner with malformed bill, and on 
hornbills feeding on oil palm fruits 

by W. R.J. Dean 

Received 21st March, 1975 
In August 1970 an immature Lanner Falco biarmicus was found dead on the 
national road 16 km north-east of Christiana, Transvaal, South Africa. The 
bird was made into a study skin and is now in the collection of the Alexander 
McGregor Memorial Museum, Kimberley (specimen no. NMK/B/1180). It 
has the upper and lower mandibles malformed as shown in the Plate. The 
upper mandible curves down sharply and is twisted laterally to the right 
crossing the lower mandible which has projected beyond the upper by 
5 mm. The lower mandible is also twisted laterally. On dissection the bird 




Immature Lanner with malformed bill. 

proved to be in fair condition with a small amount of fat present. The 
severely abraded condition of the rectrices and primaries indicated that it had 
been obtaining food by scavenging along roads. 

Brooke & Jeffery (1972, Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 92: 19) list several species of 
birds, including three hornbills, taking nuts of the oil palm Elaets guineensis. 
In the Quicama National Park, Luanda, at ca. 9 20'S., 1 3 46'E., the Crowned 
Hornbill Tockus alboterminatus was recorded on seven occasions between 26 
July and 13 August 1972 feeding on oil palm nuts, and the Yellow-billed 
Hornbill T. flavirostris as twice taking oil palm nuts at the same time and 
place. The stomach contents of a female Laughing Hornbill Bycanistes sharpii, 
collected on 16 August 1972 in evergreen forest about 20 km north of 
Cabinda, consisted of oil palm nut fibre and oil. I am grateful to the Peabody 
Museum of Natural History, Yale University for the opportunity to make 
these hornbill notes. 

55 



Diomedea cauta in South African waters 

by C. M. N. White 

Received 14th March, 197} 
This albatross has long been recorded from the coastal waters of South 
Africa in the form D. c. salvini which breeds at Snares Island and Bounty 
Island, south of New Zealand. It now appears that the nominate D. c. cauta 
which breeds on islets off Tasmania, and at Auckland and Disappointment 
Islands, also occurs. My attention was drawn to this fact by the reference in 
Checklist Committee, Orn. Soc. N. Z. (1970). 

Dr. F. C. Kinsky of the Dominion Museum, Wellington, New Zealand 
has kindly given me further details. Three birds are recorded, all banded at 
sea off Cape Campbell, north-east corner of the South Island of New Zea- 
land: 

(a) No. 19289. Banded 4.3.1958: recovered off Port Nolloth, 3.5.1959. 

(b) No. 19354. Banded 9.1. 1957: recovered off Danger Point, 30.8.1962. 

(c) No. 16117. Banded 24.1. 1957: recovered off Jeffrey's Bay, 29.9.1968. 
According to Dr. Kinsky the first two recoveries were published in the 

10th and 13th Annual Reports of the New Zealand Bird Banding Scheme, 
published by the Dominion Museum in i960 and 1963 respectively. The 
third was mentioned by Robertson (1972: 71). Dr. Kinsky, to whom I am 
much indebted for this information, comments that these birds were banded 
during the New Zealand breeding season, and were probably sub-adult 
non-breeding birds. Most of the nominate form are thought to remain in 
New Zealand waters throughout the year. 

Differential diagnoses of the forms can be found in Falla et al. (1966: 34) 
and Serventy et al. (1971 : 70-71). This note is published in case students of 
African sea-birds overlook these records, which provide an additional form 
to the African marine bird fauna. 

References : 

Checklist Committee, Orn. Soc. of New Zealand, Inc. 1970. Annotated checklist of the birds 

of New Zealand. Wellington: A. H. & A. W. Read. 
Falla, R. A., Sibson, R. B. & Turbott, E. G. 1966. A field guide to the birds of "New Zealand. 

London: Collins. 
Robertson, C. J. R. 1972. Preliminary report on bird banding in New Zealand 1964-71. 

Notornis 19(1): 61-73. 
Serventy, D. L., Serventy, D. & Warham, J. 1971. The handbook of Australian sea-birds. 

Sydney, Melbourne, Wellington, Auckland: A. H. & A. W. Read. 



Winter bird populations of Golfo San Jose, Argentina 

by J. R.JehlJr., M. A. E. Rumboll & /. P. Winter 

Received 6th February, 1973 
INTRODUCTION 

Five hundred miles south of Buenos Aires, Argentina's Valdes Peninsula 
juts into the Atlantic Ocean. Its irregular dumbell-like shape is caused by two 
large bodies of water, Golfo Nuevo to the south and the smaller Golfo San 
Jose on the north, which cut deeply into the peninsula and nearly separate it 
from the mainland. The peninsula and its adjacent waters are attractive to a 
variety of sea birds and marine mammals. Although there are nesting colonies 
of cormorants, gulls, and terns there, the primary attractions are the large 
herds of elephant seals and sea lions. 

56 



In the austral winters of 197 1 and 1972, the R/V Hero, a research vessel of 
the U.S. National Science Foundation, supported biological field studies 
along the coast of Argentina. During 22-23 J une an d 1-7 July 1971, and 
4-19 August 1972, the Hero was engaged in bird and mammal research in 
Golfo San Jose. This gulf is approximately 12 miles wide and 25 miles long. 
Its entrance is narrow, and the swift currents and shoal waters there create 
feeding conditions that attract many species of pelagic birds. In mid-gulf 
depths reach 3 5-40 fathoms, but the waters within a mile or so of shore are 
extremely shallow, and at low tide extensive mudflats a half-mile wide are 
exposed in some areas. The perimeter of the gulf is dominated largely by 
sandy beaches, some of which are thickly covered with layers of scallop 
shells. Particularly along the southeast shore, steep, poorly-consolidated 
sandstone cliffs drop directly into the water. In other areas, but mainly along 
the north and south shores, there are scattered, dark-coloured mudstone 
outcrops, rome of which are covered with mussel beds. The richest concentra- 
tions of birds are usually encountered along the south shore of the gulf, 
especially in the vicinity of Isla de los Pajaros. This tiny island provides 




VALDEZ PENINSULA 



Figure 1. Golfo San Jose on the Valdes Peninsula, Argentina: a, San Roman; b, Punta 
Conos; c, Isla de los Pajaros. Cross-hatched areas along shore were censused in 1972. 
Insert shows the location of the Valdes Peninsula. 



undisturbed resting and feeding grounds for many shorebirds and water- 
fowl, and in summer several species of aquatic birds nest there. 

In 1 97 1, Jehl made preliminary censuses of birds along the entire south 
shore and parts of the western shore; approximately 30 miles of coast were 
surveyed casually. In 1972, we were able to make detailed censuses along 58 
miles of the bay's approximately 80 miles of coastline. The areas censused are 
shown in Figure 1. Censuses were made either by walking along the beach or 
by observing from a small air boat that could operate within a few yards of 
shore. By taking into account the types of habitat in areas we were unable to 
visit, we could, through extrapolation, estimate populations for the entire 
coast of the gulf. Numbers observed in areas censused more than once 
showed little variation from day to day, indicating (1) a relatively stable 
population at this season and (2) reasonable censusing techniques. We 
believe that our estimates are accurate to within 10 per cent. 

57 



Although there are annotated lists of species for a few areas (e.g., Punta 
Tombo: Boswell & Prytherch 1972; Puerto Deseado: Zapata 1967) ours are 
apparently the only quantitative data on population sizes of shore-inhabiting 
birds for any area of the Argentine coast at any season of the year. 





TABLE 1 






Winter bird populations of Golfo San Jose, 


Argentina 








1972 




1971 


1972 


Estimate 


Species 


Estimate 


Count 


for entire gulf 


Spheniscus magellanicus 


100 


250 


400 + 


Podiceps rolland 


20 


1 


1 


Podiceps occipitalis 


5 


43 


50 


Podiceps major 


10 


42 


50 


Diomedea melanophris 


30 


150 


150 


Macronectes giganteus 


10 


10 


30 


Fulmarus glacialoides 


— 


1 


1 


Daption capense 


2 


6 


20 


Pachyptila sp. 


40 


2,000 


2,000 


Procellaria aequinoctialis 


2 


60 


80 


Puffinus griseus 


500 


2,000 


2,000 


Puffinus gravis 


10 


— 


— 


Oceanites oceanicus 


5 


— 


— 


Phalacrocorax olivaceus 


100 


143 


180 


Phalacrocorax magellanicus 


— 


84 


84 


Phalacrocorax atriceps 


50 


53 


70 


Phalacrocorax albiventer 


1,000 + 


613 


850 


Casmerodius albus 


2 


4 


4 


Nycticorax nycticorax 


50 


68 


75 


Phoenicopterus chilensis 


300 


214 


214 


Chloephaga picta 


3 


40 


40 


Tachyeres patachonicus 


8 


23 


25 


Lophonetta specularoides 


70 


233 


280 


Anas flavirostris 


6 


6 


6 


Anas georgica 


— 


46 


46 


Falco peregrinus 


— 


1 


1 


Falco femoralis 


1 


— 


— 


Haematopus palliatus 


500 


492 


600 


Haematopus leucopodus 


100 


i75 


175 


Haematopus ater 


8 


22 


22 


Vanellus chilensis 


— 


1 


1 


Charadrius falklandicus 


200 + 


1,560 


1,800 


Zonibyx modestus 


1 


— 


— 


Pluvianellus socialis 


30 


10 


10 


Calidris canutus 


1 


36 


36 


Calidris bairdii 


4 


16 


20 


Calidris fuscicollis 


50 


7 


10 


Calidris alba 


— 


— 


50 


Thinocorus rumicivorus 


— 


50 


50 


Chionis alba 


100 


162 


180 


Catharacta skua 


3 


6 


6 


Leucophaeus scoresbii 


4 


2 


2 


Icarus dominicanus 


1,000 + 


4,300 


4,800 


Icarus maculipennis 


50 


466 


500 


Sterna hirundinacea 


150 


160 


200 


Sterna trudeaui 




12 


12 


Thalasseus maximus 


1 


4 


4 



In each year, the Hero made several transects of the open gulf, and many 
extended cruises along its shores. Estimates of pelagic species were made on 
these occasions, but abundance varied markedly. For these species, the 
number presented in Table 1 represents the maximum concentrations ob- 
served in the census period. 



For most species there were no important annual differences in abun- 
dances, at least in those areas that received comparable study. It would 
appear, therefore, that winter bird populations utilizing this area are largely 
stable during the months of June, July, and August. 

Surface water temperatures averaged io° C. in 1971 and 9 C. in 1972. 

This research was supported by a grant from the National Science Founda- 
tion (NSF-6V-32739). 

WINTER BIRD POPULATIONS 

Penguins: An estimated 400 Magellanic Penguins Spheniscus magellanicus , of 
which approximately 10 per cent were immatures, wintered in Golfo San 
Jose in 1972. They were widely scattered through the gulf, but concentra- 
tions could usually be found near the mouth and along the southeast shore. 
The largest concentration, 210 birds on 12 August, was observed in mid-gulf 
in association with flocks of Sooty Shearwaters Puffinus griseus, prions, and 
other pelagic birds. Two penguins collected had fed on a small fish Nothotenia 
guntheri, and others that could not be identified. The prevailing westerly 
winds cause birds dying in the bay to accumulate along the east shore. The 
thick pelts of penguins resist decay, and one can find the mummified remains 
of one or more every 30 metres along this sandy beach. 

Grebes: Grebes were generally uncommon and tended to be concentrated 
in small flocks near the south shore. The largest flock of Great Grebes 
Podiceps major in 1972 was 25, and of Silvery Grebes P. occipitalis 15. These 
concentrations were similar to those of 1971. Only one White-tufted Grebe 
P. rolland was seen in 1972, as compared to a single flock of 20 in 1971. 

Seabirds: Seabird numbers in Golfo San Jose fluctuated daily. Large 
concentrations were usually present near the mouth of the gulf, but the 
occurrence of concentrations elsewhere was much more variable. In most 
cases we were unable to associate environmental factors with the presence of 
particular species. However, on days of moderate to strong breezes large 
numbers of Sooty Shearwaters appeared in the southeastern corner of the 
gulf. It was not unusual to see 1,500 to 2,000 birds in that area, mostly 
feeding on small fish a mile or so from the shore. On several occasions flocks 
of several hundred to 2,000 fed at the surfline in association with Brown- 
hooded Gulls Icarus maculipennis. 

In general, the numbers and distribution patterns of seabirds showed 
little variation between years. The apparent increased abundance in 1972 
(Table I) largely reflects a huge concentration in mid-gulf on 12 August 
which included 130 Black-browed Albatrosses Diomedea melanophris, 2,000 
prions Pachyptila spp., 60 Shoemakers Procellaria aequinoctialis, 800 Sooty 
Shearwaters, 130 Magellanic Penguins, 650 Kelp Gulls Larus dominicanus, 
and 30 South American Terns Sterna hirundinacea. The 1971 data more closely 
approximate the average daily numbers that can be expected. 

The absence of Greater Shearwaters Puffinus gravis and Wilson's Petrels 
Oceanites oceanicus in 1972, and the presence of a Southern Fulmar Fulmarus 
glacialoides may be attributable to the later date and colder waters in that year. 

We were unable to collect any of the prions for positive identification; a 
single Pachyptila belcheri was found freshly dead on the beach. 

Cormorants: Four species of cormorants winter, and one breeds in Golfo 
San Jose. A colony of Olivaceous Cormorants Phalacrocorax olivaceus nests on 
Isla de los Pajaros (see Ragonese & Piccinini 1972; Figs. 14, 16, 21, 23). In 
winter the species is usually encountered feeding in very shallow water, in 
areas where the bottom is sandy, mainly along the south shore. 

59 



The Rock Shag's P. magellanicus distribution is localized, and for this 
reason the species was not encountered in 1971. Roosts are located on the 
east and north shore, where steep cliffs plunge directly into the water. The 
major roost, of about 50 birds, is at Punta Conos (Fig. 2); smaller roosts occur 




Figure 2. Rock Shags Phalacrocorax magellanicus at roost at Punta Conos, Golfo San Jose. 



near the mouth of the gulf and at Isla de los Pajaros. Rock Shags feed near 
shore at depths of 10-20 metres. Several birds collected had fed on small fish 
and on a small octopus Octopus tehuelchus which lays its eggs in the empty 
shells of pelecypods such as Chione antigua (Cancelles 1944). 

The commonest cormorant in the gulf is the King Cormorant P. albiventer^ 

60 



which occurs nearly everywhere. Roosts of up to several hundred birds are 
scattered along the coast, two of the largest being near Bahia San Roman. 
The Blue-eyed Cormorant P. atriceps associates with King Cormorants, 
comprising from 5 to 10 per cent of mixed flocks. These two species feed 
together mainly in deeper waters. Blue-eyed Cormorants seem to be com- 
moner near the mouth of the gulf than farther inshore. 

One of the most striking aspects of cormorant biology was the rarity of 
immatures among the non-resident species. Only 4 of 84 Rock Shags were 
immature; immatures comprised no more than 10 per cent of the King 
Cormorant flocks, and only one immature Blue-eyed Cormorant was identi- 
fied, despite careful searching. Many young Olivaceous Cormorants were 
present, but we made no estimates of their relative abundance. 

Flamingos, Herons: Several hundred Chilean Flamingos Vhoenicopterus 
chilensis, including one white-plumaged juvenile that appeared to be no more 
than two-thirds grown, wintered along the southwestern corner of the gulf 
in 1 97 1. Fewer were present in the same area in 1972. Whether the apparent 
decrease reflects the later time of observation or local differences in the 
ecology of nearby inland lakes where flamingos also feed, is unknown. 
Human disturbance may also be important, for even in this remote area we 
found several birds that appeared to have been shot. 

In both years Common Egrets Casmerodius albus were rare, and were found 
only on the south side of the gulf. Black-crowned Night Herons Nycticorax 
nycticorax were commoner and are presumably resident. Although these 
birds could be found on rocky outcrops along the entire coast, the majority 
of the population was centered at a roost on Isla de los Pajaros. The extremely 
dark coloration of these herons was striking. In 1971 Jehl saw two melanistic 
birds there and several that approached this condition; in 1972 we also saw 
several extremely dark individuals, but none that was truly melanistic. 

Waterfowl: The main habitat for waterfowl is along the south and west 
coasts where extensive clay terraces and mudflats are exposed at low tide. 
The Crested Duck Lophonetta specularoides is by far the most abundant species, 
occurring along all coasts. Isolated pairs are the rule, but flocks of up to ten 
were seen. This species breeds locally, but migratory birds from farther 
south probably augment the winter population. 

Flying Steamer Ducks Tachyeres patacbonicus are probably winter visitors to 
the area. In the gulf they are found almost exclusively along the west and 
southwest shores. Small numbers of Brown Pintails Anas georgica and Yellow- 
billed Teal Anas flavirostris were present, but these species prefer ponds 
inland on the peninsula. 

Sheld Geese Chloephaga spp. are seldom seen along the coast, but Golfo 
San Jose seems to be on the migration path. On 12, 13, 14 and 19 August, 17 
flocks of up to 200 geese, totalling 1,100 individuals, were observed heading 
southwest over the gulf. Nearly all were Upland Geese C. picta, but two 
Ruddy-headed Sheld Geese C. rubidiceps were identified among them. (These 
migrants are not included in Table 1.). The increased numbers of Upland 
Geese utilizing the shore of the gulf in 1972 as compared to 1971 is doubtless 
due to the arrival of migrating individuals. 

Hawks and Falcons: Except for a single Aplomado Falcon Y alco femoralis in 
1 971 and an immature Peregrine Falcon F. peregrinus in 1972, we saw no 
evidence of predatory birds along the shore of the gulf. The Aplomado 
Falcon was hunting shorebirds at a mudflat; the Peregrine made a playful 

61 



pass at a small group of night herons. In 1972 we found a South American 
Tern Sterna hirundinacea that had been eaten by a falcon. 

Several large nests on steep cliffs along the south shore were presumably 
made by Black-chested Buzzard-Eagles Geranoaetus melanoleucus, but we did 
not observe this species in the immediate area. 

Shorebirds: American Oystercatchers Haematopm palliatus are abundant 
residents of Golfo San Jose. Along the sandy beaches of the south and east 
coasts the population averages eight to ten pairs per mile. Cliffs along the 
north shore limit oystercatcher habitat there, but even so the birds remain 
extremely common. We estimated the population at 600 individuals. The 
species seems to maintain territories all the year, so that in most areas pairs 
are spaced out regularly along the beach. However, in some areas, such as 
Isla de los Pajaros, flocks of 20 or more occurred and fed together without 
interaction on the exposed mudflats. 




Figure 3. A pair of American Oystercatchers Haematopus palliatus left, and a hybrid with 
a Blackish Oystercatcher H. ater, Golfo San Jose. 

In several locations (e.g., Punta Conos, Isla de los Pajaros) dark mudstones 
outcrop along the bay, and many are covered with extensive mussel beds. 
These areas provide habitats for the small resident population of Blackish 
Oystercatchers H. ater. This species occasionally hybridizes with H. palliatus 
in this area (Fig. 3, and Jehl in prep.). 

Wintering Magellanic Oystercatchers H. leucopodus occupied the mudflats 
of the southwestern corner in each year. These birds tended to remain 
together in large flocks and did not usually associate with or interact with 
the American Oystercatchers that utilized the same feeding areas. 

Small flocks of Falkland Plovers Charadrius falklandicus occurred on almost 
every mudflat. Most flocks consisted of 10 to 15 birds, though some were as 
large as 200. The huge increase in 1972 is almost certainly a result of improved 
censusing. 

62 



An unexpected find was that small numbers of Magellanic Plovers 
Pluvianellus soda/is wintered in the area. This is the northernmost report for 
the species. Details of the winter ecology and behaviour of this rare shore- 
bird will be published elsewhere (Jehl in prep.). 

The strongly compacted clays which form the beach over much of Golfo 
San Jose are almost impenetrable. Consequently, feeding habitats for probing 
birds are virtually lacking. Small numbers of ''summering" northern 
hemisphere sandpipers Calidris canutus, C. bairdii, C. fuscicollis, C. alba were 
found in each year. These birds tended to feed in intertidal regions in associa- 
tion with Falkland Plovers. 

Least Seedsnipe Thinocorus rumicivorus were seen sparingly in 1972 only. 
Scattered individuals fed on exposed tideflats along the southwestern shore, 
and small flocks were occasionally flushed from sand dune areas along the 
eastern shore. 

Snowy Sheathbills Chionis alba were found on clayflats and mussel beds 
along the entire coast but principally on the south shore. 

Skuas, Gulls, Terns: Approximately six Great Skuas Catharacta skua 
wintered in the gulf in 1972 and were usually found in association with the 
flock of Sooty Shearwaters. Most of the birds seen well, as well as two that 
were collected, had reddish underparts and were referable to C. s. chilensis. 
However, at least one (two?) bird in the gulf, seen on 9 and 16 August, was 
extremely dark and certainly was not of that race. Two of the three Great 
Skuas seen well in 1971 were also referable to chilensis. We watched two skuas 
making alternate swoops on a swimming and apparently healthy Great 
Grebe, but without success. 

A population of 4,300 Kelp Gulls Icarus dominicanus was estimated in 1972. 
As in 1 97 1, well over 95 per cent of the birds were adult. A small colony 
breeds at Punta Conos, where 30-50 deserted nests were found, and a large 
colony nests at Isla de los Pajaros (Ragonese & Piccinini 1972). Brown- 
hooded Gulls L. maculipennis were far commoner in 1972 than in 1971, 
perhaps because of an influx of migrants. The main concentrations occurred 
along the south and east shores of the gulf. By mid- August many of the birds 
were vocal and were engaging in apparent aerial territorial displays. Dolphin 
Gulls Leucophaeus scoresbii were rare and we encountered them only in the 
vicinity of cormorant or sea lion roosts, where they fed on scraps or on 
faecal material. 

South American Terns Sterna hirundinacea were uncommon in the gulf, 
although flocks of up to 20 might be encountered. Royal Terns Thalasseus 
maximus breed on the Valdes Peninsula (including Isla de los Pajaros; 
Ragonese & Piccinini 1972; Figs. 18, 24), but virtually all depart the area in 
winter; we saw only one bird in 1971 and four in 1972. A few Trudeau's 
Terns Sterna trudeaui were found along the south shore of the gulf in 1972; 
none were seen in 1971. 

References : 

Cancelles, A. 1944. Catalogo de los moluscos marinos de Puerto Quequen (Republica 

Argentina). Rev. Mus. de la Plata {Nov. Ser.), Sec. Zoo/. 3 : 233-309. 
Ragonese, A. E. & B. G. Piccinini. 1972. La vegetacion de la "Isla de los Pajaros" (Pro- 

vincia de Chubut). Idia 291: 31-50. (Inst. Nacional de Tecnologia Agropecuaria, 

Argentina). 
Boswall, J. & R. J. Prytherch. 1972. Some notes on the birds of Punta Tombo, Argentina. 

Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 92: 1 18-129. 
Zapata, A. 1967. Observaciones sobre aves de Puerto Deseado, Provincia de Santa Cruz. 

Hornero 10: 351-378. 

63 



The birds of the Shira Plateau and west slope 
of Kibo, Kilimanjaro 

by David G. King 

Received ioth January, 197) 
INTRODUCTION 

This paper is devoted to the birds of the Shira Plateau and the west slope of 
the Kibo summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. An attempt is made to 
list all species that have been observed in the area, and to add new information 
on their distribution, status and habits. 

The avifauna of the high altitudes of the south slope of Kilimanjaro has 
been well studied and documented by a number of observers (Johnston 1886; 
Oberholser 1905, 1906; Kittenberger 1958, 1959; Moreau 1935, 1944; 
Moreau & Moreau 1939; Guest & Leedal 1954; Lamprey 1965). However, 
the high altitudes of west Kilimanjaro have been largely neglected due to 
their inaccessibility. The only workers to make observations in this area are 
Swynnerton (1949) and Salt (1954, 1955) from a visit they made in November 
1948, and Guest & Leedal (1954) from a visit in August 1953. Neither party, 
spent much time in the area, so their observations were incomplete. In 
October 1968 the problem of access was alleviated with the completion of a 
track by the Tanzania Forest Service. This led to extensive exploration and 
studies of the vegetation and fauna by the staff of the College of African 
Wildlife Management at Mweka, near Moshi, and by others. This report 
results from these expeditions. 

The Shira Plateau is defined as the relatively level plain on the west 
shoulder of Kilimanjaro between 11,000 and 12,500 feet contours, an area 
of about 21 square miles. This is in contrast to the limits of 1 1,500 and 13,500 
feet used by Salt (1955) which are not realistic nor in agreement with modern 
topographical maps. All of the slope above 12,500 feet and between the 
Machame Escarpment on the south and the Lent Group on the north is 
considered the west slope of Kibo. 

The Shira Plateau is surrounded on the west and south sides by the Shira 
Ridge that rises to 13,000 feet. All streams that dissect the area merge and 
flow away to the north-west. Eccentrically placed in the southern half of the 
plateau is a large conspicuous cone shaped hill, Platz Kegel. 

The dominating vegetation over most of the area from 11,000 to 13,500 
feet is heath Erica, Philippia and Artemisia spp., interspersed with grasses 
Deschampsia, Festuca and Pentaschistis spp., and everlastings Helichrysum spp. 
However, the drainage lines and about 2 «5 square miles around the base of 
Platz Kegel are open grasslands or bogs dominated by sedges, grasses and 
herbs Ranunculus, Alchemilla and Lobelia spp. Above 13,500 feet West Kibo is 
largely an alpine desert with few plants except in wet drainages; and above 
1 5,500 feet only barren rock, scree, snow and ice. 

This paper results from seven trips to the Shira Plateau and West Kibo 
between October 1968 and September 1969. All parts of the study area were 
explored and many parts were visited several times. It was only during trips 
in July, August and September 1969 that bird specimens were collected. 
These are now in the Mweka Wildlife College Museum except for six (two 
Cisticola hunteri, one C. brunnescens, one Serinus striolatus, two Cercomela 
sordida) donated to the British Museum (Natural History). Species of birds 
that have been recorded in the alpine zone below 11,000 feet are mentioned 
in a section 'Other species' towards the end of the paper. 

64 



I divided the birds into those that were clearly resident in the Shira area 
and into those that were occasional or rare visitors. Three species, namely 
Mountain Buzzard Buteo oreophilus, Stonechat Saxicola torquata and Lammer- 
geyer Gypaetus barbatus, listed as residents of high elevations by Lamprey 
(1965) and Moreau (1944, 1966), are included here only as visitors. My list 
includes two species, Apus aequatorialis and Cisticola brunnescens, not previously 
recorded from upper Kilimanjaro. 

All specimens collected were compared with those from other parts of 
Kilimanjaro that are either in the Mweka Wildlife College Museum, the 
National Museum of Kenya or the British Museum (Natural History). I have 
followed the systematics used by White (1960-62, 1961-63, 1965), although 
among others, Mackworth-Praed & Grant (i960), Blake & Vaurie (1962), 
Ripley (1964) and Howell et al. (1968) were consulted. 

RESIDENT SPECIES 

Augur Buzzard, Buteo rufofuscus augur Rupp. : Two individuals were seen 
on almost every trip to the Shira Plateau. This species had also been noted by 
both Swynnerton (1949) and Guest & Leedal (1954). All sightings were 
likely of the same two birds as one was of the typical white phase and the 
other of the melanistic phase. Moreover, they were frequently together. They 
roam over the entire plateau and ascend West Kibo to at least 14,000 feet. 
On one occasion I observed the white individual with a rat or mouse. Rodent 
probably form the bulk of the augur's diet as they are abundant and no 
resident game birds are known above 10,000 feet. 

Swifts, Apus melba africanus Temminck and A. ae. aequatorialis (von 
Muller): Large swifts are seen regularly on the south slope of Kilimanjaro 
to 17,000 feet. Lack (in Moreau 1936) identified swifts he saw at Horombo 
Hut as Apus melba but Kittenberger (1959) those he saw on Kibo as the 
similar species, A. aequatorialis. However, there is no record of a specimen 
of either species having been collected from high elevations. Sjostedt (in 
Friedmann 1930) collected A. melba in 1905 above Kibongoto (4,400 feet) on 
south Kilimanjaro, which is the only specimen of the large swifts from the 
mountain. On Mount Meru, 40 miles to the west, I collected an individual of 
A. aequatorialis at 8,300 feet. I feel certain that swifts I saw swooping and 
diving over the Shira Plateau on 7th September were A, aequatorialis ', as their 
mottled bellies were clearly visible. In summary, it is probable that both 
species are resident, although confirmation from specimens is needed. Swifts 
do not appear to be as numerous in the Shira area as elsewhere on Kiliman- 
jaro, as I saw them only two or three times. Swynnerton (1949) recorded 
them only once. 

Hill Chat, Cercomela sordida hypospodia (Shell.): This chat is the most 
common and widespread bird found on upper Kilimanjaro. It prefers the 
areas of broken heath and of grassland interspersed with everlastings and low 
heath which are the common habitats of the Shira Plateau. It is less common 
in the denser bush below 1 1,000 feet, that is, the edge of the plateau; and in 
areas of dense heath on the plateau. It also becomes scarce above 13,500 feet 
although occurring to the highest vegetation. 

I collected four specimens on 3rd-5th July, four on 10th August and two 
on 6th September. The July birds were not sexed. The August collection 
was of three males and a female, and the September group of two males. 
None of the August birds were in breeding condition but the testes of both 

65 



September males were greatly enlarged. Moreover, in September the birds 
were dispersed rather than in the flocks of five to eight that are seen through 
most of the year. 

On 7th September 1969, my companions V. C. Gilbert and M. Bigger 
discovered a nest at 13,000 feet on a south facing slope of a stream. The nest 
was a grass cup at the end of a 1 2-inch deep cleft between two rocks and 
under a third. It contained two eggs and a newly hatched chick and shell. 
The eggs were thrush blue (turquoise blue) with small blotches the colour 
of dried blood on the large end. They were approximately 23 by 17 mm. The 
only other breeding record I could find for C. s. hypospodia is that given by 
Mackworth-Praed & Grant (i960). They record breeding in June (source 
not given) and describe the eggs as "white with faint tawny spots and 
streaks". The eggs found by Gilbert and Bigger are more similar to those 
of C. s. ernesti (Sharpe) of Mount Kenya (Mackworth-Praed & Grant 1 960) 
although it is well known that variation does occur in the eggs of chats. 

Hunter's Cisticola, Cisticola hunteri hunteri Shell. : This warbler occurs in 
the heath of Kilimanjaro to about 13,500 feet and is the second most com- 
mon species on the Shira Plateau. Lynes (1930) and Mackworth-Praed & 
Grant (i960) say it is normally associated with dense shrubby undergrowth, 
but on the plateau small flocks of six to ten birds were frequently seen in 
moorlands with only the sparest of shrubby cover. They associate with the 
Hill Chat in flocks, and the two species appear to be competing directly for 
food, that is, insects. At elevations below 11,000 feet, however, the warbler 
is the dominant species. 

I collected 12 specimens at approximately 12,000 feet: three unsexed 
specimens on 5 th July, three males and two females on 10th August, and 
three males and a female on 6th September. None were in breeding condition. 
All were similar in size and colour to those in the museums collected above 
treeline since 1889 (when Hunter made the first collection). 

Several authors including Oberholser (1905), Lynes (1930), Moreau & 
Moreau (1939) and White (1962) noted that specimens of Hunter's Cisticola 
are more sombre at high elevations than at lower elevations on Kilimanjaro. 
Specimens from under 9, 5 00 feet have more russet on the head and thighs, 
and their general coloration is more brown than grey. Moreover, the chin 
is whitish rather than grey. Specimens I examined from all elevations of 
Kilimanjaro were darker than specimens from all elevations on Mount Meru, 
Mount Kenya, the Aberdares and all other localities, although included in the 
same subspecies, C. h. hunteri^ by White (1962). Prior to White (1962) 
specimens from all these localities except Kilimanjaro were called C. h. 
prinioides Neumann (Mackworth-Praed & Grant i960) because of the colour 
difference. I also noted that some rectrices of most specimens from upper 
Kilimanjaro had many conspicuous "feather checks" but were uncommon 
on specimens from other localities. 

White-naped Raven, Corvus albicollis Lath.: On all trips to the Shira 
Plateau two individuals, presumably a pair, were observed. They occasionally 
ascend the west slope of Kibo to at least 17,000 feet where I saw them flying 
high over the glaciers. The raven is relatively common over the entire 
mountain and has been observed as high as the summit of Kibo (19,340 feet) 
many times. 

Scarlet-tufted Malachite Sunbird, Nectarinia johnstoni johnstoni Shell. : This 
sunbird is numerous at high elevations wherever lobelias Lobelia deckenii are 

66 



in flower. They appear to rely largely on the nectar of lobelia for food — 
although I have seen individuals pursuing insects — and seem to move about 
the mountain seeking them. In April 1969, these sunbirds were common in 
the valleys of West Kibo between 12,500 and 14,000 feet where the lobelias 
were in flower. In early July lobelias and sunbirds were very common near 
Platz Kegel but on 10th August only a single individual was seen in the same 
area. The lobelias had finished flowering and the birds had gone elsewhere in 
search of food. This is probably why Williams, in July 1949, encountered few 
of this species on south-east Kilimanjaro (Williams 195 1). 

One male was collected on 5 th July, but the size of the testes was not noted. 
Its measurements were within the limits given by Williams (195 1) for N.j. 
johnstoni. 

Yellow-crowned Canary, Serinus canicollis flavivertex (Blanf.) : This small 
canary is occasionally seen on the Shira Plateau and the west slope of Kibo 
to 13,000 feet. It usually occurs in small flocks in the more open heath and 
grasslands, but as it is a wary bird, it is seldom seen close at hand. On 4th July 
I saw a male courting a female near giant groundsels Senecio cottonii in a valley 
west of Platz Kegel. As the female moved slowly from limb to limb the male 
kept approaching with much fluttering of the wings and excited chirping. 
The female eventually appeared to tire of his pursuit and flew farther away. 
The male burst into song before I collected him. His testes were greatly 
enlarged. This single specimen was indistinguishable from a male collected 
on 10th August at 6,000 feet on west Kilimanjaro. This latter bird was also 
in breeding condition. 

Streaky Seed-eater, Serinus striolatus subsp. : Lamprey (1965) says that the 
Streaky Seed-eater is "A common species which occurs in flocks on the 
moorlands up to 14,000 feet". I have seen few of this finch on the Shira 
Plateau or elsewhere on Kilimanjaro, nor is it recorded as being "common" 
by any other observer. A single individual seen sitting on a giant groundsel 
5 th July was collected. One of two seen with a flock of Hunter's Cisticolas 
near Platz Kegel 10th August was also collected. The first specimen was not 
sexed but the second was a male in non-breeding condition. I cannot find 
any previous record of this species having been collected above the forest of 
Kilimanjaro. 

The Shira specimens were compared with those in the National Museum 
of Kenya, British Museum (Natural History) (including eight from lower 
Kilimanjaro), and Mweka Wildlife College Museum, and were found to 
differ from all of them. The distinguishing feature of the Shira specimens is a 
very conspicuous lemon-yellow wash throughout the plumage. This in- 
cludes the superciliary stripe and the light markings on the sides of the head 
and underparts from the chin to the vent. The yellow was very noticeable 
even in the field. Of the large collection of Streaky Seed-eaters in the National 
Museum of Kenya only three females from Kinankop, Aberdares, have a 
definite yellowish wash, and this is very light and confined to the underparts. 
Specimens in the British Museum from the moorlands of Mount Kenya and 
elevations below 7,000 feet on Kilimanjaro have a slight wash on the head 
and throat, but none approach the specimens from upper Kilimanjaro for 
brilliance of colour. The difference may be sufficient for naming of a new 
subspecies; however, additional specimens are needed. The form that lives 
on lower Kilimanjaro is somewhat in doubt as White (1963), evidently 
following Sclater (in Moreau 1935), calls it S. s. striolatus ', but Howell et al. 

67 



(1968) use S. s. affinis, a name first proposed by Richmond (Oberholser 
1905). 

With further reference to the Shira specimens, there are two in the British 
Museum that should be noted. They are a bird collected by Moreau in 1934 
in the Mbulu District of northern Tanzania and another from Ruwenzori, 
both strongly coloured but with orange-buff, not lemon-yellow. C. H. B. 
Grant marked the label of the Mbulu specimen as juvenile, and the other 
almost certainly is as well. The Shira specimens may also be juveniles. 

OCCASIONAL AND RARE VISITORS 

Lammergeyer, Gypaetus barbatus meridionalis Keys. & Bias.: This very 
large bird of prey is rarely seen on Kilimanjaro and its status as a resident is 
in question (Guest & Leedal 1954). I spent a total of nearly 60 days above the 
forest between October 1968 and September 1969, and only saw a Lammer- 
geyer once. On 6th November 1968, G. S. Child and I saw an individual 
circling over the Shira Plateau. I am unaware of any other recent sightings of 
the species from Kilimanjaro, so it may be worthwhile to note an individual 
that I saw at 13,000 feet on Mount Meru on 29th September 1968. 

Mountain Buzzard, Buteo oreophilus oreophilus Hart. & Neum. : Although 
recorded in large numbers from the upper slopes of Kilimanjaro by Moreau 
(1935), I have only seen this buzzard on the Shira once. This was on 7th 
September 1969, when a lone individual flew by in a southerly direction. I 
have not seen this species above the forest elsewhere on Kilimanjaro, nor 
does it seem as numerous in the forest as in the same zone on Mount Kenya 
(pers. obs.). 

Quail, Coturnix coturnix erlangeri Zedl. : This species was first recorded 
above the forest of Kilimanjaro by Lamprey (1965). Child saw a single 
individual near our camp on the Shira Plateau on 3rd July which he duly 
collected. This bird, a female, was on a very open ridge sparsely covered 
with grasses and low heath. The ovary was regressed and the crop was filled 
with unidentified seeds. This bird was likely a stray from large numbers that 
were seen during the same trip in Londrossi Glade, west Kilimanjaro, at 
7,000 feet. On 7th September 1969, I saw two more quails on grassy moor- 
lands near Platz Kegel. It is doubtful that this species is resident and I believe 
all sightings to be of birds on migration. 

The subspecific name erlangeri is used, following Benson & Irwin (1966), 
who applied this name to the populations of eastern Africa, and restricted 
C. c. ajricana Temminck & Schlegel to those breeding in southern Africa 
south of the Limpopo. 

Plover sp. : Swynnerton (1949) reported sighting a plover in the boggy 
valley west of Platz Kegel. He believed it was a species of Stephanibyx. On 
7th September 1969, 1 saw a large wader in a stream which I was not able to 
identify positively. However, it definitely was not a Stephanibyx sp. as it 
lacked a black tail band. The bird was Stephanibyx in size with white under- 
pays and brownish uppers. Possibly it was a Greenshank Tringa nebularia on 
migration. 

African Snipe, Gallinago nigripennis nigripennis Bonap. : This wading bird 
was recorded in November 1948 by Swynnerton (1949) from the boggy area 
near Platz Kegel. I searched the same area in November 1968 and in July, 

68 



August ami September 1969, but failed to find more of this species. M. 
Bigger (pers. comm.) saw an individual in the bog on 17th July 1965, and in 
January 1970 V. C. Gilbert (pers. comm.) saw two. These sightings suggest 
snipe are regular visitors to the area. 

Owl sp. : An owl or eagle-owl was recorded by Guest & Leedal (1954) 
near the Lent Group on West Kibo and at the base of Mawenzi Peak. 

I have not observed or heard any species of owl or eagle-owl in the Shira 
area and neither did Swynnerton (1949). However, the presence of a species 
could be expected as there is a very high rodent population in the area and 
an eagle-owl Bubo capensis is known to reside at high elevations on Mount 
Kenya. C. W. Benson (pers. comm., Jan. 1970) suggests the bird recorded by 
Guest & Leedal may have been this species; also, see Benson & Irwin (1967). 

Stonechat, Saxicola torquata axillaris (Shell.) : This chat is common in the 
heath just above the forest. On 6th September 1969, I observed a lone indi- 
vidual near the centre of the Shira Plateau at 11,700 feet. I have several 
records and one specimen from the heath at 11,000 feet at the edge of the 
plateau. However, I believe it is only an occasional visitor out onto the 
plateau proper, and therefore have not included it in the list of residents 
above. 

Pectoral-patch Cisticola, Cisticola brunnescens subsp. : On 7th September 
1969, 1 saw four or five small cisticolas at 1 1,800 feet on an open moor north 
of Platz Kegel. I collected two, both females, one of which was taken to the 
British Museum. There it was tentatively identified by Mrs. B. P. Hall as 
Cisticola brunnescens. Mrs. Hall said (pers. comm., Jan. 1970) the specimen 
appeared to belong to a population intermediate between C. b. hindii Sharpe 
of Kenya and C. b. cinnamomea Reichw. of the south. In the British Museum 
there is a female from Engare Nairobi (5,400 feet) on the west side of Kili- 
manjaro, and another female from 6,500 feet on Mount Hanang, having the 
same characteristics. Mrs. Hall said that three more similar specimens from 
the Masai Steppe are in Berlin. Lynes (1930), however, included them in C. b. 
hindii without comment. All in all, very little is known about the distribution 
or habits of these birds and they could represent an as yet undescribed sub- 
species of C. brunnescens. It is also possible that the species is resident on the 
Shira Plateau grasslands even though not previously recorded. An interesting 
feature of both specimens was the presence of several toes lacking claws and 
being swollen at the tips. 

Swallow sp. : Two small dark swallows were seen on 5 th July flying over 
the south rim of the plateau. They may have been Psalidoprocne bolomelaena y 
which is usually found in the forest belt below 9,000 feet. I have seen swallows 
above the forest of Kilimanjaro on other occasions and as high as 14,000 
feet on Mount Kenya. 

Dioch spp. : The remains of two different Que lea spp. were recorded by 
Guest & Leedal (1954) high on Kilimanjaro. One of these was on West Kibo 
but it is thought that both were accidental casualties during migration. There 
are no recent records. 

OTHER SPECIES 

There are a number of species which have not been recorded at high 
elevations on Mount Kilimanjaro but should be mentioned. These include 

69 



species that have been recorded between treeline and 1 1 ,000 feet or at high 
elevations elsewhere in East Africa, particularly Mount Kenya, On 5th-7th 
July 1969, a Fiscal Shrike Lanius collaris was seen several times at 10,500 feet 
on west Kilimanjaro. At the same locality on 10th August, I collected a 
Pangani Longclaw Macronyx aurantiigula. On Mount Kenya the African 
Black Duck Anas sparsa breeds in the moorlands but has not yet been ob- 
served above 8,000 feet on Kilimanjaro. The Mountain Francolin Franco linus 
psilolaemus, which breeds in the moorlands of Mount Kenya, does not occur 
on Kilimanjaro, but the closely related Shelley's Francolin F. shelleyi has 
been seen up to 10,000 feet (Lamprey 1965). It may go higher. Two residents 
of the alpine zone of Mount Kenya, the Slender-billed Starling Onychognathus 
tenuirostris and the rarely seen Scarce Swift Apus myoptilus, are unknown on 
Kilimanjaro, possibly because their ranges do not include this mountain. It 
is perhaps surprising that more birds of prey have not been recorded. At least 
three harriers Circus spp., the Black Kite Milvus migrans^ and Verreaux's 
Eagle Aquila verreauxii have been observed over the moorlands of the Aber- 
dares or Mount Kenya. 

Undoubtedly over the next few years more species will be added to those 
already recorded in the higher altitudes of Kilimanjaro. Access is steadily 
improving and now that the mountain has been made into a national park 
even greater numbers of visitors can be expected. It has been the objective 
of this paper to bring together all that is known of the bird fauna of upper 
Kilimanjaro, particularly the less well known western flank, and provide a 
base for future observers to build on. 

AC KNOWLEDGEMENTS 

I am particularly grateful to the Mweka College of African Wildlife 
Management which provided the opportunity and means to explore the 
Shira Plateau and west slope of Kibo; and which provided laboratory space 
and technical assistants. I also wish to extend warmest thanks to the many 
individuals who assisted in the field work, particularly Gil Child and V. C. 
"Tom" Gilbert. In addition, without the co-operation of the National 
Museum of Kenya and of the British Museum (Natural History), including in 
the latter Dr. D. W. Snow, D. Goodwin and Mrs. B. P. Hall, this paper could 
not have been written. 

SUMMARY 

An account is given of the birds of the Shira Plateau and the west slope of 
the Kibo summit, upper Kilimanjaro. Data include a breeding record for a 
chat Cercomela sordida and the dependence of a sunbird Nectarinia johnstoni 
on flowering Lobelia deckenii. The populations of a seed-eater Serinus striolatus 
and a cisticola Cisticola hunteri appear to differ in colour of plumage from those 
at lower altitudes on the mountain. Apus aequatorialis and Cisticola brunnescens 
are recorded from upper Kilimanjaro for the first time, and first specimens of 
the latter and Serinus striolatus were collected. 

POSTSCRIPT 

C. W. Benson (pers. comm.) suggests that the Chestnut-tailed Pygmy 
Crake Sarothrura affinis could occur on upper Kilimanjaro. It has been col- 
lected in the moorland zone of Mount Kenya and the Aberdares between 
11,000 and 12,000 feet, and its occurrence to the southward of Kilimanjaro 
is well established (Keith et al., 1970, Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 143(1): 
5 7-59)- 

70 



The author made another visit to upper Kilimanjaro from ioth to 14th 
February 1973, in the hope of obtaining more data on the Streaky Seed-eater 
and Pectoral-patch Cisticola. This was prevented by poor weather; however, 
good sight records were had of the Alpine Swift Apus melba at 1 6,000 feet 
and the Abyssinian Nightjar Caprimulgus poliocephalus at 10,500 feet. The 
latter species had not previously been recorded from Kilimanjaro, although 
known from Mount Kenya and the Aberdares. It was giving a very loud 
call of pure flute-like notes that sounded like "peeyou" followed by "pee- 
whuwhuwhu", this latter phrase descending. This call had been heard in 
1968-69, but the bird could not be identified, as calling is only heard in the 
late evening and after dark, and only from the ground or low plants such as 
Lobelia. 

References : 

Benson, C. W. & Irwin, M. P. Stuart. 1966. The Common Quail Coturnix coturnix in the 
Ethiopian and Malagasy Regions. Arnoldia (Rhodesia) 2 (13): 14pp. 

— 1967. The distribution and systematics of Bubo capensis Smith (Aves). Arnoldia (Rhodesia) 

3(19): 19pp. 
Blake, E. R. & Vaurie, C. 1962. Family Corvidae, Crows and Jays. In Check-list of birds of 

the world. 15: 204-282. Cambridge, Mass.: Mus. Comp. Zool. 
Friedmann, H. 1930. Birds collected by the Childs Frick Expedition to Ethiopia and Kenya 

Colony. 1. Non-passeres. U.S. Nat. Mus. Bull. 153. 
Guest, N. J. & Leedal, G. P. 1954. Notes on the fauna of Kilimanjaro. Tang. Notes & Recs. 

36: 43-49- 
Howell, T. R., Paynter, R. A. & Rand, A. L. 1968. Family Fringillidae : Subfamily Car- 

duelinae, Serins . . . and allies. In Check-list of birds of the world. 14: 207-306. Cambridge, 

Mass.: Mus. Comp. Zool. 
Johnston, H. H. 1886. The Kilimanjaro Expedition. London: Kegan Paul, Trench & Co. 
Kittenberger, K. 1958. My ornithological collecting expeditions in East Africa. Part 1. 

Aquila 65 : 13-37. 

— 1959. My ornithological collecting expeditions in East Africa. Part 2. Aquila 66: 53-87. 
Lamprey, H. F. 1965. Birds of the forest and alpine zones of Kilimanjaro. Tang. Notes & 

Recs. 64: 69-76. 
Lynes, H. 1930. Review of the genus Cisticola. Ibis (12)6, suppl. 
Mackworth-Praed, C. W. & Grant, C. H. B. i960. African handbook of birds. Series I, Vols. 

1 & 2. 2nd. ed. London: Longmans. 
Moreau, R. E. 1935. A contribution of the ornithology of Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru. 

Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond.: 843-891. 

— 1944. Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya: some comparisons, with special reference to the 

mammals and birds; and with a note on Mount Meru. Tang. Notes & Recs. 18: 28-59. 

— 1966. The bird faunas of Africa and its islands. London: Academic Press. 

Moreau, R. E. & Moreau, W. M. 1939. A supplementary contribution to the ornithology 

of Kilimanjaro. Rev. Zool. Bot. Afr. 33: 1-15. 
Oberholser, H. C. 1905. Birds collected by Dr. W. L. Abbott in the Kilimanjaro Region, 

East Africa. Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus. 28: 823-936. 

— 1906. Notes on birds from German and British East Africa. Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus. 30: 

801-811. 
Ripley, S. D. 1964. Family Muscicapidae : Subfamily Turdinae, Thrushes. In Check-list of 

birds of the world. 10: 13-272. Cambridge, Mass.: Mus. Comp. Zool. 
Salt, G. 1954. A contribution to the ecology of upper Kilimajaro. /. Ecol. 42: 375-423. 

— 1955. The Shira Plateau of Kilimanjaro. Geogr. Journ. 117: 150-164. 

Swynnerton, G. H. 1949. Report on a safari to explore the Shira Plateau, west Kilimanjaro, 

Ann. Rep. Game Dept. Tang., 1948: 9-1 1. 
White, C. M. N. 1960-62. A check list of the Ethiopian Muscicapidae (Sylviinae). Occ. Pap. 

Nat. Mus. S. Rhod. 24B: 399-430; 26B: 653-738. 

— 1961-63. Revised check lists of African passerine birds. Lusaka: Government Printer. 

— 1965. A revised check list of African non-passerine birds. Lusaka: Government Printer. 
Williams, J. G. 195 1. Nectarinia johnstoni: a revision of the species, together with data on 

plumages, moults and habits. Ibis 93: 579-595. 

7i 



Remarks on the status of Campethera "scriptoricauda" 
and related species 

by Lester L. Short 

Received 26th February, 197) 
In reviewing the genus Campethera as part of my preparation of a monograph 
of the Picidae, I examined specimens of the superspecies C. nubica, including 
C. punctuligera, C. nubica, C. bennettii, and C. "scriptoricauda". I was able to 
examine only eleven specimens of the last-mentioned form, but some addi- 
tional features were found to shed light on the relationships of scriptoricauda. 

Various authors have recognized the very close relationship of the putative 
species comprising this complex (see, e.g., Chapin 1939:365; Clancey 1964: 
162; Goodwin 1968:21). The allospecies (Amadon 1966) nubica, bennettii and 
punctuligera are closely similar and replace each other geographically without 
overlapping, as far as is known; it is entirely possible that they are conspecific. 
Compared with these three forms, scriptoricauda, allopatric with, and occur- 
ring between the ranges of bennettii and nubica, is less distinctive, and in fact 
this taxon presents taxonomic difficulty because it combines features of 
nubica and bennettii, while lacking characteristics that are not shared by those 
two forms. 

Comparing scriptoricauda with nubica, similarity is shown in: spotting of the 
throat (found in scriptoricauda and in a few specimens of nubica, although 10 of 
16 birds from Dire Daoua, Boule Boule, Lake Zwai and Maraco, Ethiopia, 
have the throat and chin partly, or in 3 cases, fully spotted); streaked ear 
coverts ; and the white background (both sexes) of the ear coverts, and the 
throat and chin. One possibly distinctive feature of scriptoricauda is its yellow- 
based black bill, but dried specimens of bennettii resemble scriptoricauda in bill 
colour (some specimens of bennettii bear labels having bill with a "pale base" 
as do several specimens of scriptoricauda at my disposal). Until we know more 
precisely the variation in bill colour of bennettii this trait of scriptoricauda 
cannot be appraised. In wing length and in tail length scriptoricauda falls 
within the upper range of variation of nubica, and in the low range (wing to 
122 mm, Belcher 1928) of bennettii. Resemblances between scriptoricauda and 
bennettii are: back coloured yellow-brown (rather than green-brown of 
nubica)\ back barred with white (rather than spot-barred as nubica); tail 
barring obscure or vague (not crisply barred as in nubica); culmen of bill 
curved (straighter in nubica); and, bill narrow across the nostrils. Regarding 
this last feature, 11 specimens of scriptoricauda measure 2-6, 2-6, 2-7, 2-8, 
2-8, 2-8, 2-9, 2-9, 2-9, 3-1 and 3-1 mm across the culmen between nostrils; 
33 bennettii measure from 2-5 to 3-3 mm, and 5 5 nubica measure 3-2 to 4-2 mm. 
(I note that related punctuligera is like bennettii and scriptoricauda, and not like 
nubica in this measurement). The bill differences between bennettii and nubica 
suggest that the latter uses the bill for tapping and excavating in the bark of 
trees to a greater extent than does bennettii, and the resemblance of scriptori- 
cauda to bennettii in bill structure suggests agreement with it rather than with 
nubica in foraging habits. To these similarities must be added the vocal 
resemblance of scriptoricauda to bennettii, as opposed to nubica (Benson 1948 : 61). 

The range of scriptoricauda extends from central eastern Tanzania (70 
miles north of Morogoro) to the northeastern corner of Mozambique, and 
thence westward around the southern end of Lake Nyasa to southern 
Malawi (White 1965; Clancey 1969b; specimen in Los Angeles County 
Museum). C. b. bennettii occurs southwest of the range of scriptoricauda in 

72 



Mozambique, and northwest of it in northern Malawi and western Tanzania. 
C. nubica "pallida" occurs in northeastern Tanzania, meeting scriptoricauda at 
least sporadically (seasonal wanderers ?) at or near Morogoro. No interactions 
with C. nubica have been reported ; hybrids of scriptoricauda and nubica would 
be very difficult to detect. C. b. bennettii and scriptoricauda undoubtedly meet 
in south-central Malawi. Benson (1952: 152) described intermediates of 
bennettii and scriptoricauda from : 60 miles north of Tete (type of C. b. vincenti 
Grant & Mackworth-Praed 1953), female, with unspotted, pinkish brown 
throat and similarly coloured ear coverts ; female from Zobue with unspotted, 
even paler (faintly buffy) throat and ear coverts; females from Kapeni- 
Matindi, near Blantyre (bird with small throat spots on a beige-tinted back- 
ground, noted as scriptoricauda approaching bennettii by Goodwin 1968: 
20), and 30 miles south of Chikwawa, all with spots on chin and throat; and 
males from Zomba, 60 miles north of Tete, and Kapiriuta, all with ear 
coverts intermediate between the white of bennettii and the black-streaked 
coverts of scriptoricauda, but without spots on the throat and chin. Goodwin 
(1968) commented upon the lack of overlap between phenotypically pure 
specimens of bennettii and scriptoricauda. The extent to which hybridization or 
intergradation occurs is not known, but it is clear that C. bennettii morpho- 
logically converges upon, rather than diverges from, scriptoricauda where 
their ranges approach. I note that all but three of 1 1 specimens of scriptori- 
cauda I have examined show red-brown colour, like that of bennettii in tone 
(not dark brown as in nubica) , in a small area of the ear coverts behind and over 
the eyes; one male has this brown colour suffused throughout the anterior 
ear coverts. 

A factor relating to an appraisal of scriptoricauda is that the variation found 
in C. bennettii is extensive, as has been documented by Clancey (1964, 1967, 
1968, 1969a) and by Irwin & Benson (1966). Particularly notable is the 
variation in brown throat and ear covert colour among females, and its 
presence among scattered males from throughout that species' range. Three 
of nine immature males and five of 20 adult males representing C. b. bennettii 
and C. b. capricorni have a light cinnamon brown throat, and generally 
browner ear coverts. Further, although females show some clinal variation 
from nearly black (capricorni) to pale brown (bennettii, "vincenti") ear coverts 
and throat, some capricorni specimens are red-brown in those areas, and 
bennettii specimens vary from cinnamon to nearly black. The possibility, even 
the likelihood, of migration among some populations of C. bennettii (Clancey 
1964: 164) suggests that there is extensive gene flow, perhaps accounting 
for some of the observed variation. In any case, variation in colour of the ear 
coverts and throat in bennettii, and of throat spotting in nubica indicates genetic 
instability and plasticity relating to these features. It is unwise to assign 
crucial importance to them in evaluating the status of scriptoricauda. I might 
note that I fail to see, amid the variation in C. bennettii, a need for nomencla- 
tural recognition of more than two subspecies, bennettii and capricorni, in 
addition to scriptoricauda. 

It seems most unlikely that scriptoricauda, which does not approach the 
morphological distinctiveness of punctuligera , bennettii and nubica, will prove 
reproductively isolated, and hence specifically distinct from bennettii. The 
resemblance of scriptoricauda to bennettii in bill structure presumably corre- 
lated with feeding habits, their vocal similarity, and their resemblance in 
general features of plumage colour (back colour and markings, tail pattern) 
as contrasted with more variable ear-covert and throat-chin patterns, incline 

73 



me to agree with Benson (1952: 153), White (1965) and others merging 
scriptoricauda in bennettii. Obviously we need further data, especially from 
areas where the various forms of this complex may meet. At this time, 
however, although not discounting the possibility that the entire complex 
may prove to represent a single biological species, the preponderance of 
available evidence suggests that scriptoricauda is conspecific with bennettii. C. 
punctuligera may prove conspecific with C. bennettii, which it resembles in bill 
structure, and C. nubica, the most distinctive of these forms, is most apt to 
prove specifically distinct from the others. For the time being I prefer to treat 
punctuligera, bennettii and nubica as separate species, listed in that linear order. 

As a final comment I suggest that C. abingoni (and related C. notata) may 
have played a role in the evolution of the C. nubica complex. I believe 
abingoni and notata are closely related to the nubica group. They are broader 
billed, and generally perform more tapping than do species of the nubica 
complex. The essential point is that broad-billed C. abingoni overlaps in range 
with narrow-billed C. bennettii and punctuligera, but is essentially allopatric 
with C. nubica, which has a relatively broad bill (morphologically overlapping 
somewhat with abingoni). Thus competitive interaction with abingoni may be a 
factor influencing the narrow bill and feeding habits (e.g., ground feeding 
has been reported for bennettii and punctuligera, but not for nubica) of punctu- 
ligera and bennettii ', whereas nubica ecologically may replace both the strong- 
billed abingoni and its own allospecies punctuligera and bennettii. 

Acknowledgements: I thank M. A. Traylor and K. Stager for the loan of 
specimens vital to this study, respectively from the Field Museum of Natural 
History, Chicago, and the Los Angeles County Museum. Other specimens 
were available in the American Museum of Natural History. 

Summary: Campethera "scriptoricauda" is found to agree with C. bennettii 
and not nubica in bill shape and bill width, and in several colour characters, 
as well as in voice and habits, as noted by other authors. It is treated herein 
as a race of C. bennettii. The three woodpeckers C. bennettii, C. punctuligera 
and C. nubica are very closely related, forming a superspecies. Competition 
with another relative, C. abingoni, with which they are sympatric, may have 
caused divergence of C. bennettii and punctuligera from C. nubica, which is 
largely or completely allopatric with those three species. 

References : 

Amadon, D. 1966. The superspecies concept. Syst. Zool. 15 : 245-249. 

Belcher, C. F. 1928. Notes on Nyasaland birds. 1. Additions to the list of Nyasaland birds 

(Non-Passeres). Ibis (12) 4: 1-9. 
Benson, C. W. 1948. Geographical voice variation in African birds. Ibis 90: 48-71. 

— 1952. Notes from Nyasaland. Ostrich 23: 144-159. 

Chapin, J. P. 1939. The birds of the Belgian Congo. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 75 : 1-632. 
Clancey, P. A. 1964. Miscellaneous taxonomic notes on African birds. XXII. Durban 
Museum Novit 7 : 157-187. 

— 1967. Critical comments on the subspecies of some birds from Zambia. Durban Mus. 

Novit. 8: 77-107 . 

— 1968. Subspeciation in some birds from Rhodesia. Durban Mus. Novit. 8: 11 5-1 5 2. 

— 1969a. Miscellaneous notes on African birds. XXVII. Durban Mus. Novit. 8: 227-274. 

— 1969b. A catalogue of birds of the South African sub-region. Suppl. no. 1. Durban 

Mus. Novit. 8: 275-324. 
Goodwin, D. 1968. Notes on woodpeckers (Picidae). Bull. Brit. Mus. (Nat. Hist.) 17: 1-44. 
Grant, C. H. B. & Mackworth-Praed, C. W. 1953. A new race of woodpecker from 

Portuguese East Africa. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 73 : 55-56. 
Irwin, M. P. Stuart & Benson, C. W. 1966. Notes on the birds of Zambia: Part II. Arnoldia 

(Rhodesia) 2: 1-2 1. 
White, C. M. N. 1965. A revised check-list of African non-passerine birds. Lusaka: Government 

Printer. 

74 



The Relationships of the Swallow-tanager Tersina viridis 

by Charles G. Sibley 

Received ntb April, 197) 
INTRODUCTION 

The Swallow-tanager occurs in tropical and lower subtropical areas from 
Panama and Trinidad to Bolivia, southeastern Brazil, and northeastern 
Argentina. It is a nine-primaried oscine bird with a relatively broad, flat bill 
and long swallow-like wings. The adult male is mainly iridescent bluish or 
bluish-green with the facial area, throat and flank bars black and the abdomen 
white. The female is green with the face and throat greyish-brown and the 
abdomen and flank bars pale yellow-green. Swallow-tanagers are territorial 
when breeding but gregarious otherwise. They eat fruit and insects taken in 
flight. The nest is built in a hole, sometimes excavated by the birds in a 
vertical bank. Like many hole-nesting birds the eggs are pure white (Schaefer 
1953)- 

TAXONOMIC HISTORY AND CHARACTERS 

The Swallow-tanager came to the attention of ornithologists early in the 
last century and was at first assigned to the swallows because of the long 
wings and broad bill. During the 19th century the Swallow-tanager was 
placed in several different genera, most often in Procnias. This generic name 
was later shown to belong to the bellbirds of the family Cotingidae (Ridgway 
1907: 880) and since 1907 the Swallow-tanager has usually been placed in 
Tersina of Vieillot (1 8 1 9). 

It was recognized quite early in its taxonomic history that Tersina is 
related to the tanagers. For example, Sclater (1862) placed it in its own 
subfamily (Procniatinae) in the tanager family "Tanagridae" (=Thraupidae). 
In 1895 Ridgway proposed the establishment of the family Procniatidae 
based upon "the notable characters presented in the skull" which had been 
called to his attention by F. A. Lucas. Lucas (1895a) published a brief note 
announcing Ridgway's new family and (1895b) a description of the "charac- 
ters of the Procniatidae." 

Lucas (1895b) found that Tersina is like the tanagers in many characters but 
that in its palatal skeleton it "departs so widely, not only from the tanagers, 
but from the large majority of passerine birds, as to warrant the establishment 
of a separate family for . . . the genus." The palatal differences involve "the 
total absence of the transpalatine processes, the small size of the inter- 
palatines, and the slenderness and outward curvature of the prepalatine 
bars, which makes the interpalatine vacuity almost oval in shape." Lucas 
noted that the absence of the transpalatine process was unique among the 
passerines although found in Thinocorus and Turnix. Except for the palate, the 
skull of Tersina was found by Lucas to be more like that of a tanager than 
like that of a swallow. In its pterylosis Tersina was found to be either dis- 
tinctive or similar to the tanagers. The shape of the dorsal tract in Tersina 
resembles that of Thraupis palm arum although differing in size. 

In a study of the hyoidean structures in passerine birds George (1962) 
found that, with two exceptions, the New World nine-primaried oscines 
have a laterally compressed basihyale. In Peucedramus and Tersina this bone is 
cylindrical in shape. George therefore excluded the Tersinidae from the 
nine-primaried assemblage although the Thraupidae were included. 

Since 1895 Tersina has been allocated to a monotypic family by many 
authors including Wetmore (1930, i960), Stresemann (1934), Hellmayr 

75 



(1936) and George (1962). Mayr & Amadon (195 1) recongized the family 
Tersinidae "for the present," thus expressing uncertainty about the status 
of the genus. Some authors have placed Tersina in a monotypic subfamily, 
Tersininae (Mayr & Greenway 1956; Storer 1970) and others have depressed 
it to a tribe, Tersinini (Beecher 1953), or to the level of a genus within the 
tribe Thraupini (Sibley 1970). 

The basis for recognition of a monotypic family, subfamily or tribe for 
Tersina is that it is so different in its palatal structure from the typical tanagers 
that it must be segregated from them. The counter argument emphasizes 
the many similarities between Tersina and other tanagers and explains the 
palatal and hyoideal differences as special adaptations associated with its 
swallow-like method of capturing insects in flight. It should be noted that the 
swallows (Hirundinidae) are one of the many groups of passerines which 
have a cylindrical basihyale (George 1962:6). Thus convergence is a reason- 
able explanation for the condition in Tersina. The tongue of Tersina was noted 
by Lucas (1895b) as "hirundine in pattern" and the same type of tongue 
"occurs among the swifts, and . . . probably ... in other insectivorous 
birds ..." The similarities between Tersina and the typical tanagers involve 
all characters other than those noted as differences. Lucas (1895b) pointed 
out that the jaw, the nares and the ectethmoid are tanager-like. Lucas noted 
that "the skull, in spite of its superficial resemblance to that of a swallow, is 
structurally more nearly like that of such a typical tanager as Piranga erythro- 
melas . . ." Beecher (1953:310) considered Tersina to be "anatomically close to 
Calospi^a" [=Tangara] and Storer (1969) suggested that Tersina "may . . . 
have been derived from a calliste-like ancestor." He further noted that "the 
color and texture of the feathers are like those found in some callistes, and 
the sexual dimorphism (blue males and green females) is like that in the Blue 
Dacnis. The Swallow Tanager's bill is rather like that of a calliste but much 
broader at the gape, a reflection of its fly-catching habits. Like the callistes, 
Swallow Tanagers may also drift through the canopy of the forest in groups, 
feeding on small fruits." The "callistes" are currently placed in Tangara 
which is a synonym oiCalospi^a. 

THE EGG WHITE PROTEIN EVIDENCE 

In a study of the egg white proteins of passerine birds using starch gel 
electrophoresis (Sibley 1970) I found that the pattern of Tersina was like that 
of the tanagers and other members of the New World nine-primaried 
assemblage. All of the members of this group were alike and it was not 
possible to assess degrees of similarity and difference among them. Recently 
the egg white proteins of Tersina have been compared with those of many 
other passerines using the electrophoretic technique of isoelectric focusing 
in acrylamide gel (abbreviated IFAG). The IFAG method has been described 
by Sibley & Frelin (1972) and used in other studies by Sibley & Ahlquist 
(1973) and Sibley (1973). 

The greater resolving power of the IFAG technique permits detailed 
comparisons of the isoelectric properties of homologous proteins in related 
species. In the present study, using a pH 6-4 gradient, it was possible to 
resolve at least 1 2 protein bands in the egg white of Tersina and other species 
in the New World nine-primaried assemblage. The same basic pattern is 
found in Tersina and in the more than 50 species of tanagers, wood warblers, 
emberizine buntings and troupials that have been examined. Differences 
among these species take the form of shifts in the isoelectric points and 

76 



relative amounts of homologous proteins. Homologies are easily determined 
because the overall patterns are so similar. 

After preliminary comparisons had shown that Tersina was a member of 
the New World nine-primaried assemblage its egg white proteins were 
compared in detail with those of the following species : 

Tanagers (Thraupini): Thraupis episcopus, Thraupis sayaca, Buphonia lutei- 
capilla, Piranga olivacea and Eucometis penicillata. 

Wood- warblers (Parulini): Dendroica pensylvanica, Dendroica petechia, 
Geothlypis trichas and Myioborus miniatus. 

Honey-creepers (Coerebini): Coereba flaveola. 

Buntings (Emberizini) : Emberi^a cirlus, Diuca diuca, Zonotrichia capensis and 
Geospi^afortis. 

Cardinal grosbeaks (Cardinalini) : Pheucticus ludovicianus, Passerina cyanea, 
Saltator maximus. 

Cardueline finches (Carduelini) : Acanthis flammea. 

Troupials (Icterinae): Xanthopsar flavus. 

The pH 6-4 IFAG pattern of Tersina egg white contains 12 protein bands. 
All are identical in position and relative quantity to their homologs in 
Thraupis episcopus, Thraupis sayaca, Piranga olivacea, Euphonia luteicapilla and 
Coereba flaveola. The pattern oi Eucometis penicillata differs slightly from that of 
these species in the positions of two bands. The patterns of the species of 
Dendroica and Geothlypis are identical to one another but that of Myioborus 
differs slightly in the position of one band. This difference makes Myioborus 
virtually identical to Tersina and the genera which are identical to Tersina. 
This suggests that these small differences are not consistent within recog- 
nized groups and this is further indicated by most of the remaining species. 
The patterns of the emberizine, cardinaline and icterine species are identical 
or nearly identical to those of the tanagers, Tersina, etc. and I am not able to 
find consistent differences correlated with currently recognized higher taxa. 
The carduelines may differ enough to be separable from the emberizines etc. 
but I cannot be certain that the observed differences will prove to be con- 
sistent when many more species are compared. 

What does seem clear is that closely related species do have identical 
patterns. Within some genera there are small differences between species, but 
it is far more common to find agreement between congeners to the finest 
detail. 

I interpret the evidence from all sources as indicating that Tersina is a 
tanager and that its specialized characters are adaptations to its method of 
feeding. There is no basis for taxonomic separation beyond the generic level 
and the closest relatives of Tersina are probably Thraupis and Tangara. 

DISCUSSION 

Although the close relationship between Tersina and other tanagers may be 
accepted by most avian systematists the more basic problem remains, 
namely, the true generic alignments within the New World nine-primaried 
oscines. I have discussed this question elsewhere (Sibley 1970: 106-108) 
and Storer (1969) and Paynter & Storer (1970) also have commented upon it. 
Briefly, the problem is as follows. 

The groups herein recognized as forming the New World nine-primaried 
assemblage (tanagers, wood-warblers, honey-creepers, buntings, cardinal 
grosbeaks, troupials) are based primarily upon differences in the feeding 
structures. For most of the groups bill shape is the most important defining 
character. That all of these groups are closely related seems clear but whether 

77 



or not all "tanagers" are more closely related to other "tanagers" than to 
some "wood-warblers" or "honey-creepers" is debatable. 

Some steps toward a re-alignment of genera have been attempted. Beecher 
(195 1) suggested that the Coerebidae is a composite of nectar-feeding 
warblers and tanagers and proposed that Coereba, Ateleodacnis and Coni- 
rostrum should be placed in the Parulidae and that the other "coerebid" 
genera should be transferred to the Thraupidae. Skutch (1954:438; 1962) 
and de Schauensee (1966:454) disagreed. Skutch (1962:113-116) argued that 
Coereba is so distinct that it merits separation in a monotypic family and that 
Conirostrum may be an emberizine. Lowery & Monroe (1968) adopted a 
neutral position by placing Coereba and Conirostrum among a group of 
"Genera Incertae Sedis" following the Parulidae. 

Storer (1969) pointed out that the "pattern, color, and texture of plumage 
offer many clues to relationships" and suggested that close relatives, in some 
cases, have been placed in different "families". That this suggestion is correct 
has been proved by the hybrids between the "coerebid" Cyanerpes cyaneus 
and the "thraupid" Tangara nigrocincta reported by Delacour (1972a, b). 
Delacour (1972a) also expressed his conviction that the "members of the 
Sugar-bird family (Coerebidae) with the exception of those of the genus 
Coereba, really are tanagers (Thraupidae)." 

Although these debates have not solved any major problems they have 
helped to define them and to make it clear that the present classification is 
not a true reflection of natural relationships. The solution must be sought in 
evidence which is unrelated to food habits because all characters associated 
with feeding can be expected to reflect trophic adaptations and will thus 
merely confirm the present arrangement rather than test its validity. The 
procedure must involve a search for nearest relatives, mainly at the generic 
level, without regard for the boundaries of currently recognized higher taxa. 
The present study of Tersina is a step in this direction but many more difficult 
questions remain unsolved. The IFAG patterns of the egg white proteins 
seem likely to be helpful in identifying closely related taxa but material from 
many more species must be obtained before such data will become significant. 

AC KNOWLEDGMENTS 

The specimens used in this study were made available by the generous 
help of W. Belton, C. T. Collins, P. R. Davis, J. C. Doebeli, W. and E. 
Fiala, H. Field, R. M. Fraga, S. Garber, J. Goodall, M. P. Harris, G. Hoy, 
L. Kiff, R. W. Leeds, R. Leveque, E. S. Morton, S. Narosky, R. Pickering, 
K. D. Pickford, H. Powell, N. Proctor, A. Ruschi, S. Rothstein, W. Spofford 
and A. Williams. 

I thank Jon E. Ahlquist, Elfriede Heaney, Dorothy J. Moore and Fred 
C. Sibley for advice and assistance in the laboratory. The National Science 
Foundation supported the study under grants GB-6192X and GB-36061. 

References : 

Beecher, W. J. 195 1. Convergence in the Coerebidae. Wilson Bull. 63: 274-287. 

Beecher, W. J. 1953. A phylogeny of the oscines. Auk 70: 270-333. 

Delacour, J. 1972a. Sugar-bird tanager hybrids. Avic. Mag. 78 : 48. 

Delacour, J. 1972b. Hybrids sugar-bird X tanager. Avic. Mag. 78: 187-188. 

George, W. 1962. The classification of the Olive Warbler, Peucedramus taeniatus. Amer. 

Mus. Nov. 2103: 1-41. 
Hellmayr, C. E. 1936. Catalogue of birds of the Americas. Field Mus. Nat. Hist., Zool. Ser., 

13, part 9 (Publ. No. 365): 458 pp. 
Lowery, G. H., Jr. & B. L. Monroe, Jr. 1968. Family Parulidae, pp. 3-93 in Check-list of 

Birds of the World, vol. 14, R. A. Paynter, Jr., ed. Cambridge, Mass.: Mus. Comp. Zool- 
Lucas, F. A. 1895a. A new family of birds. Auk 12: 186. 

78 



Lucas, F. A. 1895b. Osteological and pterylographical characters of the Procniatidae. 

Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus. 18: 505-507. 
Mayr, E. & D. Amadon. 195 1. A classification of Recent birds. Artier. Mus. Nov. 1496: 1-42. 
Mayr, E. & J. C. Greenway, Jr. 1956. Sequence of passerine families (Aves). Breviora (Mus. 

Comp. Zool.) 58: 1— 1 1. 
Paynter, R. A., Jr. & R. W. Storer. 1970. Introduction, pp. v-x in Check-list of Birds of the 

World, vol. 13, R. A. Paynter, Jr., ed. Cambridge, Mass.: Mus. Comp. Zool. 
Ridgway, R. 1895. Characters of a new American family of passerine birds. Proc. U.S. 

Nat. Mus. 18: 449-450. 
Ridgway, R. 1907. Birds of North and Middle America, pt. 4. U.S. Nat. Mus. Bull. 50: 

973 PP- 
Schaefer, E. 1953. Contribution to the life history of the swallow-tanager. Auk 70 : 403-460. 
Schauensee, R. M. de 1966. The Species of Birds of South America. Livingston: Wynnewood, 

Pa. 577 pp. 
Sclater, P. L. 1862. Catalogue of a collection of American birds. N. Trubner & Co., London. 

338 pp. 
Sibley, C. G. 1970. A comparative study of the egg-white proteins of passerine birds. 

Bull. Peabody Mus. Nat. Hist. 32: 1-131. 
Sibley, C. G. 1973. The relationships of the silky flycatchers. Auk 90: 394-410. 
Sibley, C. G. & J. E. Ahlquist. 1973. The relationships of the hoatzin. Auk 90: 1-13. 
Sibley, C. G. & C. Frelin. 1972. The egg white protein evidence for ratite affinities. Ibis 

114: 377-387- 
Skutch, A. F. 1954. Life histories of Central American birds. Pac. Coast Avifauna 31 : 1-448. 
Skutch, A. F. 1962. Life histories of honeycreepers. Condor 64: 92-116. 
Storer, R. W. 1 969. What is a tanager ? Living Bird 8 : 1 27-1 36. 
Storer, R. W. 1970. Subfamily Tersininae, pp. 408-409 in Check-list of Birds of the World, 

vol. 13, R. A. Paynter, Jr., ed. Cambridge, Mass.: Mus. Comp. Zool. 
Stresemann, E. 1934. Aves. In Handbuch der Zoologie, 7 Bd., 2 Ht., W. Ktikenthal & Th. 

Krumbach, eds. Berlin: W. de Gruyter. 
Vieillot, L. J. P. 18 19. Nouveau Dictionnaire d'Histoire Naturelle. Nouv. ed. Paris. 
Wetmore, A. 1930. A systematic classification for the birds of the world. Proc. U.S. Nat. 

Mus. 76: 1-8. 
Wetmore, A. i960. A classification for the birds of the world. Smithsonian Misc. Coll. 

139(11): 1-37. 

On the taxonomic status of the genus Sauropatis 
Cabanis & Heine (family Alcedinidae) 

by A.K. Mukherjee & J. M. Dasgupta 

Received 4th April, 1973 
The genus Halcyon was described by Swainson (1821: text to pi. 27) with 
Alcedo senegalensis Linnaeus as its type. His description of the genus is as 
follows: — "Bill very long, straight, thick, the base broader than high; the 
sides tetragonal: upper mandible very straight, the base rounded; under 
mandible beneath carinated and recurved, the margins covered by those of 
the upper. Nostrils basal, covered by a membrane, the aperture naked, linear 
and oblique. Tail mostly moderate. Feet gressorial: interior fore-toe small 
or wanting." 

Cabanis & Heine (i860) erected the genus Sauropatis with Halcyon sanctus 
Vigors & Horsfield as its type-species. This species was distinguished from 
Halcyon senegalensis (Linnaeus) by its short and broad bill, the lower mandible 
being much more curved upwards and the bill being black and not red. 

Sharpe (1868) pointed out that the genus Halcyon had earlier been divided 
into many genera by different workers, but those differences were merely 
those of "Style of plumage and not those of forms". He, therefore, synony- 
mized Sauropatis with Halycon which is represented in the Ethiopian, Indian 
and Australian Regions and parts of the Palaearctic Region. In this genus, he 
included as many as 3 6 species of which four belonged to the Indian Region, 

79 



namely, Halcyon coromanda, Halcyon smyrnensis, Halcyon pileata and Halcyon 
chloris. 

Blanford (1895: 135-137), Mathews (1912: 108-109), Oberholser (1919) 
and Baker (1927: 274-278) have advocated the segregation of Sauropatis 
Cabanis & Heine from Halcyon Swainson, while Sharpe (1870), Biswas 
(1953: 32), Smythies (1953: 345-352), Peters (1945: 207-209) and Ripley 
(1961: 220-221) have synonymized Sauropatis with Halcyon. 

Except Sharpe (1868), however, none of the above-mentioned authors has 
assigned any reason for his action. 

From an examination of type-species of the genera Halcyon and Sauropatis ', 
we find the following differences : 

Halcyon Sauropatis 

1. Bill rather large, broad at base; Bill short, broad; lower man- 
culmen straight, rounded above. dible much curved upwards. 

2. Bill generally red. Bill all black or nearly so. 

3. 1 st (outermost) primary half the 1st (outermost) primary sub- 
length of the 2nd; 3rd primary equal to the 2nd; 3rd primary 
being the longest. almost equal to the 2nd. 

4. 1 st (outermost) primary shorter 1st (outermost) primary longer 
than 5 th and 6th primaries. than 5 th and 6th primaries. 

5. A white wing-patch invariably White wing-patch absent, 
present on the bases of the pri- 
maries, except in Halcyon coro- 

manda. 

6. Inhabits inland pools, fresh- Inhabits mostly coastal regions 
water rivers and estuaries. and sometimes estuaries. 

7. Nests are made in tunnels on Nests are made generally in 
river banks, and sometimes in termite mounds or in clay nests 
holes of tree-trunks near rivers. of ants. 

8. Clutch-size varies from 2 to 6, Clutch-size generally 3. 
but generally more than 3. 

AH & Ripley (1970: 95-99), while giving the description of the genus 
Halcyon, remarked that "In one species chloris, lower mandible is much more 
curved upwards". We find that this character is not only confined to chloris 
but also to another species, namely, sancta. These species are not only 
distinguishable from other species of Halcyon on morphological characters 
but they also have different habits, such as in nesting, habitat preferences, 
feeding, etc. Hence, there is ample justification to group them {chloris, sancta) 
in a genus separate from other representatives of Halcyon. We would, 
therefore, resuscitate the genus Sauropatis Cabanis & Heine to accommodate 
these two species. 

The genus Sauropatis is more or less limited to the humid tropical coasts 
of south-eastern India, Malaysia, Polynesia and Australasia. 

We are indebted to the authorities of the American Museum of Natural 
History, New York, for the loan of some specimens for our study. We are 
thankful to the Director, Zoological Survey of India, for extending facilities 
for the present work, and to Dr. B. Biswas, for critically reading through the 
manuscript and suggesting improvements. 

References: 

Ali, S. & Ripley, S. D. 1970. Handbook of the birds of India and Pakistan. 4. Bombay: Oxford 

University Press. 
Baker, E. C. S. 1927. Fauna of British India, birds. 4. London: Taylor & Francis. 
Biswas, B. 1953. A check-list of genera of Indian birds. Rec. Indian Mus. 50. 

80 



Blandford, W. T. 1895. Fauna of British India, birds. 3. London: Taylor & Francis. 
Cabanis, J. & Heine, F. i860. Museum Heineanum. 2. Berlin. 

Mathews, G. M. 191 2. New generic names for Australian birds. Austr. Avian Rec. 1. 
Oberholser, H. C. 191 9. Revision of the subspecies of the White-collared Kingfisher, 

Sauropatis Moris (Boddaert). Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus. 55: 351-354. 
Peters, J. L. 1945. Check-list of birds of the world. 5. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press. 
Ripley, S. D. 1961. A synopsis of the birds of India and Pakistan. Bombay: Bombay Nat. Hist. 

Soc. 
Sharpe, R. B. 1868-71. A monograph of the Alcedinidae. London: the author. 
Smythies, B. E. 1953. The birds of Burma. 2nd ed. Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd. 
Swainson, W. 1821. Zoological illustrations. 1. London: R. & A. Taylor. 

Ortolan and Blue Rock Thrush in Sierra Leone 

by G. D. Field 

Received 6th February, 197} 
Few records of wintering Ortolans Emberi^a hortulana are available from 
West Africa and Moreau (1972) only notes "a few . . . found wintering in 
Nigeria south to about 9 50' N." and a double passage on the lower Senegal 
River. In the first week of January 1973 on an expedition to the Loma 
Mountains in N.E. Sierra Leone, 9 13' N. and n° 06' W., I found the species 
plentiful on the steep south-east face of Bintimane, the highest point of the 
mountains. On this side the gallery forest ends at approximately 1,000 ft. 
below the summit, 6,390 ft., and the 600 or so feet above the forest consists 
partly of precipitous slabs of bare rock, partly of steep grass and herb 
covered slopes, interspersed with large boulders and a few scattered trees. 
By January the whole slope had been burned except for some moister folds 
where tiny springs still flowed. The buntings could be found over the whole 
of this slope but not on the gentler bare ground above leading to the summit. 
They were in company with the pipits, Anthus trivialis and A. similis, both 
very common, and to a lesser extent with the native bunting Emben\a 
tahapisi, spending most of their time on the ground but perching freely on 
the burnt herb stems and occasionally in trees. Plumage was very variable, 
ranging from bright, clear yellow and cinnamon-rufous underparts to drab 
whitish with pale pinkish bellies, while some had rather heavily streaked 
breasts. They were present throughout the five days of my stay and were not 
seen outside the one area. Though I once had six together on or beside one 
small burnt bush they did not normally flock closely and, assuming an even 
spread over the slope, I should tentatively put the population somewhere 
about fifty individuals. 

Until recently records of the Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius were 
almost equally scanty for West Africa south of the Sahara, but it has now 
been reported from Gambia (McGregor & Thomson 1965), northern and 
southern Nigeria, Senegal and Mt. Nimba in Liberia (Moreau 1972). In 
early December 1965 I noted at least three individuals on the summit slopes, 
above 5,500 ft., of the Tingi Mountains, thirty miles south-west of the Lomas 
and very similar in formation and vegetation. At the time I was not sure 
whether this was a genuine wintering ground or merely a freak occurrence. 
However, the original sighting is confirmed by its presence in the Lomas on 
the same slope as the Ortolans and right up to the summit. Birds were seen on 
several occasions and five individuals noted on one morning, making it here 
more common than M. saxatilis, though the latter also occurs on the plateau 
below the summit slope and along the edges of the galleries. Where the two 
occurred together M. saxatilis was once noted chasing M. solitarius from a 



favourite boulder. Taken together, these two records suggest that M. 
solitarius regularly winters in Sierra Leone in small numbers in the available 
areas above 5,000 ft. 

References : 

McGregor, I. A. & Thomson, A. L. 1965. Blue Rock-thrush Monticola solitarius in the 

Gambia. Ibis 107: 401. 
Moreau, R. E. 1972. The Pa/aearctic- African Bird Migration Systems. London & New York: 

Academic Press. 

The migratory movements of the Pygmy Kingfisher 
Ceyx picta natalensis in the Republic of Zaire 

by A. Prigogine 

Received 26th February, 1973 
It is some years since various authors, especially Benson (1964: 57-60), have 
shown that the southern form of the Pygmy Kingfisher Ceyx picta (Boddaert), 
namely C. p. natalensis (Smith), has migratory movements, while recently 
Clancey (1972) has drawn attention to some off-season records of this form 
from the Bwamba Forest, extreme western Uganda. Moreau (1966: 243) cites 
C. picta among intra- African migrants. On the other hand, it is curious that 
Mackworth-Praed & Grant (1970: 424) make no mention of any movement 
in C. p. natalensis. With few exceptions natalensis occurs in Zambia, Malawi 
and Rhodesia, and in territories to the southward, from September to March 
(Benson 1964: 58). Breeding takes place in Zambia, Malawi and Rhodesia in 
the same period, with a peak of egg-laying in November (Benson 1963 : 632; 
Benson et al. 1964: 59). Benson (1964: 59) also demonstrated that these 
southern populations of natalensis migrate northward, particularly to north- 
eastern Zaire (Kivu), Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya (see also Clancey 1972, 
who makes no mention of Benson's data). The northernmost record which 
Benson gives is from Lake Albert, between Hoima and Bugoma, since when 
I have even found it at Paulis (Isiro), in the Upper Uele at 2 5 3 ' N., 27 5 8 ' E. 

If the status of natalensis is well established in Zambia and in other countries 
to the southward, the situation is on the other hand much less clear in Zaire. 
This is because in certain parts of Zaire natalensis appears only in a deter- 
minate period, to occur at this time alongside a population of C. p. picta 
which is resident throughout the year. So the presence of natalensis can 
remain unperceived, and as I have already noted myself many specimens 
of natalensis have been confused with picta or vice versa. 

In the first place, it must be remembered that in the southern part of Zaire 
there exists a population of natalensis which seems to have exactly the same 
rhythm as that in Zambia (Benson et al. 1971: 156). Bohm had already 
collected this form in the Katanga, near the Rivers Dikulwe and Lufira, but 
his specimens were recorded by Schalow (1886: 421, 432) and Matschie 
(1887: 151) merely as Ispidina picta. Chapin (1939: 286) has cited natalensis 
from the Katanga, but was unable to examine personally any specimens 
from this part of Zaire, while the record by Neave (1910: 109) listed is in 
reality from Zambia. Subsequently Verheyen (1947: 4) has recorded 
natalensis from Musosa (collector H. J. Bredo), without giving the date of 
collection; actually the specimen is a female collected some time in the 
period September/November. Schouteden (195 1: 30-32) has given all the 
localities in Zaire, Rwanda and Burundi in which the form natalensis has been 
collected, and has mentioned in addition Albertville, in the northern Katanga. 

82 



Verheyen (1953: 347) was the first to note dates of collection, of five 
specimens from the Upemba National Park. They fall within the period late 
August to mid-April (the specimen shown as dated 27th November is 
actually labelled 27th August). It seemed to Verheyen that "Pespece est 
sujette a des migrations (locales?)". He estimated that breeding was in 
January/February, according to the age of birds examined and the state of 
their plumage. Later, Schouteden (1965 : 37) cited all the specimens emanating 
from Dilolo and Kolwezi under the name Ispidina picta, and recorded their 
dates of collection as falling between mid-August and the beginning of 
February. Finally, Schouteden (1971: 92) summarised all the specimens 
collected in the Katanga as a whole as coming within the period 9th August 
and the end of March. So, in summary, in the Katanga the situation for 
natalensis corresponds well with that described for Zambia. The birds arrive 
in August, breed and then disappear, the latest most often in March, as we 
shall see in detail below. 

What happens to the natalensis of this population in the ensuing period ? 
It is not possible to distinguish these birds from those of other populations 
nesting to the southward, and they must be considered together. The 
information in the literature concerning natalensis collected outside the 
breeding range is extremely fragmentary. The first to have recorded natalensis 
only a little to the south of the equator is without doubt Gyldenstolpe (1924: 
276), who mentions a female collected near Lake Chahafi, Uganda. Chapin 
(1939: 286) in turn noted that in the museum at Tervuren there were several 
natalensis from Kisenyi, the vicinity of Lake Kivu and the Rutshuru Plain. 
Schouteden (1942: 334) recorded the collection of a female of natalensis at 
Kirinda, Rwanda on 25 th August, although personally I attribute it to the 
nominate form. Schouteden (195 1 : 30-32) recorded several further specimens 
from Kivu, at Kalembelembe, and from Rwanda/Burundi, at Kisenyi and 
Rugegera, but did not give collecting dates. It can also be noted that 
Aurelien (1957: 206), in describing Ispidina picta from Rwanda, writes that 
"les auriculaires portent une tache bleue". This description corresponds 
with natalensis, which would accordingly appear to be common enough in 
Rwanda and Burundi (actually Aurelien sent only two specimens of natalensis 
to Tervuren). 

Some specimens from Zaire, Rwanda and Uganda have been recorded by 
Benson (1964: 59, 66), in particular from Kivu, at Lwiro; from Rwanda, on 
the River Kagera, and at Gisagara and Kisenyi; and from extreme western 
Uganda, in the Bwamba Forest (and see also Clancey 1972). Subsequently to 
Benson, Schouteden has given a list of specimens of Ispidina picta in the 
collections at Tervuren, from Rwanda (1966a: 57), Burundi (1966b: 39) and 
Kivu (1968 : 120), but did not separate the forms picta and natalensis. 

For this reason, in order to clarify the occurrence of natalensis in Zaire and 
adjacent territories to the east, I have examined all the specimens of C. picta, 
totalling more than 600, in the collections of the Musee royal de l'Afrique 
Centrale, Tervuren and in the Institut royal des Sciences Naturelles, Bruxel- 
les. I have also taken note of a certain number of specimens recorded in the 
literature, in each such case expressly indicating this. In all, exclusive of the 
10 recorded by Clancey (1972) from the Bwamba Forest, I have been able to 
bring to light 91 specimens of natalensis, six of them without date of collec- 
tion. Eighty-five of them appear in Table 1, which shows their monthly 
distribution for the different regions considered. The Map indicates the 
position of the localities where natalensis has been collected, and the 

83 



corresponding season of the year. Finally, in Table 2, I have drawn up a list 
of all the specimens of natalensis which form the basis of this study. 

TABLE 1 

Distribution of specimens of Ceyx picta natalensis by months (exclusive of ten recorded by 
Clancey 1972 from Bwamba, Uganda between 25th April and 19th July). 

J F MAMJJIASOND Total 

Southern Katanga (a) 3 6 421 2 8 10 6 5 47 

Northern Katanga 11 2 

Kasai 1 1 1 3 

Lake Leopold II 11 

Lower Congo 1 1 

Maniema 1 1 1 3 

Southern Kivu (b) 1 1 1 3 

Burundi 1 (c) 1 

Rwanda (b) 22 i(d) 5 

Idjwi Island 24 6 
Northern Kivu & 

Uganda (b) i(e) 2 3 2 3 i(f) 12 

Upper Uele 1 (g) 1 

TOTAL (without 

southern Katanga) 1 24739101 1 38 

(a) Includes two specimens collected by Bohm. 

(b) Includes specimens cited by Benson (1964: 59) from Lwiro, Kagera and Bwamba. 

(c) Collected at Bujumbura 1st March, wing 55 mm; a second specimen from 
Bujumbura, undated, has wing 50-5 mm only, but there is a well developed patch 
of blue on the ear-coverts. 

(d) Collected at Kisenyi in Nov., wing 55-5 mm; but in poor condition, blue on ear- 
coverts little visible. 

(e) Collected near Lake Chahafi 6th Feb.; wing 54 mm. 

(f) Collected by Grauer at Beni in Sept. (Sassi 1912: 365). 

(g) Collected at Paulis (Isiro) 19th March; wing 55 mm. 

TABLE 2 
List of specimens examined or cited from Zaire, Rwanda, Burundi and western Uganda (a) 

A. Southern Katanga: 1 Bunkeya 20. II; 1 Buvumba (river) 23. IX; [1 Dikulwe (river) 
25.XI]; 1 Kansenia 11. Ill; 25 Kasaji 16.VIII/9.II; 2 Kasapa V, IX; 1 Kiambi 5.XII; 
2 Kipopo 3 1. Ill, 28.IV; 1 Kiswishi 15.X; 2 Kolwezi 20.III, 27. XII; [1 Lufira (river) 
10.X]; 1 Lupando 14.IX; 1 Mpala 19. X; 1 Musosa IX-XI; 1 Mweru (lake) 23.I; 1 
Tanganyika (lake) undated (b); 5 Upemba Nat. Park 27.VIII/15.IV. 

B. Outside southern Katanga: 

Northern Katanga: 2 Albertville 24.IV, 9.VIII. 

Kasai: 1 Gandajika 16. IV; 1 Kasanza 2.V; 1 Luluabourg 2.VII. 

Lake Leopold II: 1 Bokalakela 2 5. VIII. 

Lower Congo: 1 Kinshasa 4.V. 

Maniema: 1 Kalembelembe undated; 2 Kampene 2.VII, 14.VIII; 1 Kasongo 8.IV. 

Southern Kivu: 1 Hombo 25. V; 1 Kamituga 28.IV; 1 Lwiro 4. VII (c). 

Burundi: 2 Bujumbura 1 .III, undated. 

Rwanda: 2 Astrida undated; 1 Gisagara 7.V; 1 Kagera 27.VII (c); 3 Kisenyi VII, XI, 

undated; 1 Rugegera 5.V. 
Idjwi Island: 6 Idjwi 9.VII/24.VIII. 
Northern Kivu: 1 Beni IX; 1 Butembo 15. VI; 1 Etaetu 21.V; 1 Etembo VI; 2 Mutsora 

1 1. VIII, 27.VIII; 1 Mutwanga 22.V; 1 Rutshuru (plain) VI. 
Uganda {near frontier with Zaire) (d): 1 Bwamba (forest) 3. VIII; [2 Bwamba (forest) 

n.VII, 20.VII]; 1 Chahafi (lake) 6.II. 
Upper Uele: 1 Paulis (Isiro) 19. III. 

(a) Specimens cited, not examined by myself, are shown in brackets. Not included are 
10 specimens from the Bwamba Forest, western Uganda, collected between 25 th 
April and 19th July (Clancey 1972). 

(b) Specimen collected in 1883 by Storms. 

(c) Examined by Mrs. R. T. Chapin (previously cited by Benson 1964: 59). 

(d) See also second sentence under (a). 

84 




Distribution of specimens of Ceyx picta natalensis by months. 



If we consider in the first instance the southern Katanga, 42 out of 47 
specimens were collected between September and March. There are two for 
August (16th August, Kasaji; 27th August, Upemba National Park). On 
the other hand, two were still present in April (1 5th April, Upemba National 
Park; 28th April, Kipopo), and one even in May (Kasapa, near Lubumbashi, 
without indication of day of collection). So it can be admitted that natalensis 
is present from September to March, but that some individuals arrive as 
early as mid-August and the last leave in April/May. The situation thus 
agrees well with that shown by Benson (1964: 5 8) for Zambia, etc. 

Apart from the southern Katanga, I have been able to take count of a total 
of 38 specimens of which 33 fall within the period April/August, exactly the 
period when natalensis is almost completely absent from the southern 
Katanga. Furthermore, these figures are exclusive of ten specimens of 
natalensis mist-netted in the Bwamba Forest, Uganda between 25th April 
and 19th July, reported on by Clancey (1972), for which the exact dates 
within this period are not indicated. 



In the northern Katanga, the dates of two specimens collected at Albert- 
ville seem to correspond respectively with northward and southward pas- 
sages — 24th April and 9th August. There are records of natalensis from the 
Kasai and even along the River Congo in the districts of the Lower Congo 
and Lake Leopold II. 

But it is above all in the eastern part of Zaire and adjacent Uganda that 
natalensis seems to make the longest movements as already indicated by 
Benson (1964: 59) and recently by Clancey (1972). In fact natalensis has been 
collected in Maniema, in different parts of Kivu, on Idjwi Island (specimens 
from this locality had previously been confused with nominate picta in 
Prigogine 1967: 260), in Rwanda and Burundi, just across the Zaire border 
in the Bwamba Forest, Uganda, and in the Upper Uele. 

The female collected on 6th February near Lake Chahafi, Uganda and the 
male on 1st March at Bujumbura, Burundi represent exceptionally advanced 
dates. On the other hand, the latest specimens of natalensis have been 
collected at the end of August (24th August on Idjwi Island; 27th August at 
Mutsora, northern Kivu). But an isolated specimen has been collected in 
November, without indication of the day of collection, at Kisenyi, Rwanda. 
It is not possible to say, in the case of specimens collected outside the period 
April/ August, whether it is a question of migrants, or of natalensis remaining 
in their winter quarters. 

In the migratory period, natalensis does not seem to have a preference for 
any particular biotope. On the one hand, specimens have been collected in 
open habitats as for example at Bujumbura, Kisenyi and on the Rutshuru 
Plain. On the other, they have also been found in heavy forest as at Bwamba, 
Hombo, Etaetu and Etembo. 

The stay of natalensis in its winter quarters corresponds with sexual 
inactivity. Let us examine, then, the breeding period of nominate picta. 
According to Chapin (1939: 286) nesting near the equator may continue 
throughout the year, but further to the north it probably takes place from 
March to May or June, while to the south Chapin expected it to commence 
at the start of the rains (that is to say, in September/October). According to 
Traylor (1963 : 92), the female and three eggs collected in March at Calulo, 
in Angola at io° S. (Lynes & Sclater 1934: 38), belong to nominate picta. 

Around Kamituga, at ca. 3 S., I found a nest with three eggs on 25th 
October (Prigogine 1961:253) and another with four eggs on 29th August 
(Prigogine 1972: 207). Based on all my records from this region, including 
also those of young, I conclude that breeding is from August to October and 
from January to March, in fact probably the whole period mid-August to 
March (Prigogine 1971 : 70). It would seem that, when natalensis is present in 
this region, from April to August, and is found alongside the nominate form, 
there is no reproductive activity, and this would favour the segregation of the 
two forms. But, as we shall see, this does not seem to be the case everywhere, 
particularly in the southern part of Zaire and further southward. 

In principal, the integration between natalensis and picta could take place in 
regions where natalensis breeds but where there exists also a resident popula- 
tion of nominate picta nesting at the same season, as in Angola commencing 
at the start of the rains (Traylor, 1963 : 92, also gives a record of a juvenile 
nominate picta from Dundo for as early as August). White (1965: 226) 
records "some integration" in the Kasai, but in the collection at Tervuren 
there is no specimen from the Kasai showing characters intermediate between 
natalensis and nominate picta. 

86 



On the other hand, Benson (1964: 60) records a male from Vila Texeira de 
Sousa, Angola which seems intermediate. In general, such specimens could 
occur in a belt, where natalensis and picta could be in contact, during the 
breeding season of natalensis and which would traverse Africa in the vicinity 
of ii° S. in Angola and 5 S. in Tanzania. It is difficult to trace such a band 
across Zaire. According to the specimens examined, the separation between 
natalensis and picta could be along a line which passes close to Albertville 
and a little to the north of Kasaji. But on the other hand Benson (1964: 57) 
records two specimens of picta from Salujinga in the extreme north-west of 
Zambia, thus to the south of Kasaji. Indeed, Benson & Irwin (1965: 3) 
record a further two specimens of this form from Salujinga. The situation 
in this part of Africa, then, seems complicated, and one must await some 
intermediates. Such could "behave" either like natalensis or like picta. In the 
first case, they would have seasonal migrations; in the second, they would 
be resident throughout the year. Two females in the Institut royal des 
Sciences Naturelles could be intermediate. Both were collected at Mutsora, 
in the vicinity of Ruwenzori, on 16th April and 1 ith August (as they cannot 
definitely be attributed to natalensis, they are not included in the tables). The 
first one has a mauve spot washed with blue on the ear-coverts; the second 
shows the start of a blue spot. Nevertheless the black of the crown is more 
intense in both specimens than in specimens of true natalensis. 

Furthermore, in the collection at Tervuren I have found six specimens 
which could also be intermediates. Although the blue spot on the ear- 
coverts is not visible — perhaps partly due to bad preparation — the colour of 
the crown is like that of natalensis. In two of them, from Bolafa (a little to the 
south of Bumba, in the Equator province), without indication of date of 
collecting, the underside is also a relatively pale orange-brown, as in natalensis. 
In two others, collected in April and September at Buta, Lower Uele the 
crown is as in natalensis, but the underside is darker, as in nominate picta. 
Finally, in two from Etaetu, northern Kivu, the crown is more blackish, and 
they seem intermediate between natalensis and picta. As to the colour of the 
underside, it is pale in one of these two specimens, collected in January, but 
darker in the other, collected in June. The wing-length varies in these six 
specimens as a whole from 50 to 52-5, mean 51 mm, these figures agreeing 
with the nominate form. In summary, their status is dubious. Perhaps they 
are intermediate. Account cannot be formally taken of them in this study, but 
it is worth drawing attention to them. 

It may be noted that 3 5 specimens of natalensis from further north than the 
southern Katanga range in wing-length from 50 to 56, mean 54-0 mm, which 
is in close agreement with the figure 54-3 mm given by Benson (1964: 57) 
for 166 specimens. 

Summary: (1) In order to clarify the presence of Cejx picta natalensis in 
Zaire and adjacent country to the east, more than 600 specimens of C. picta 
in the collections of the Musee royal de l'Afrique Centrale (Tervuren) and 
Institut royal des Sciences Naturelles (Bruxelles) were examined. 

(2) It has been possible to discriminate 91 specimens of natalensis, six of 
them without date of collection. Account is taken in this figure of a certain 
number of specimens previously recorded in the literature (but not of 10 
specimens recently recorded from the Bwamba Forest by Clancey). 

(3) In the southern Katanga, 42 out of 47 specimens of natalensis were 
collected between September and May. This corresponds well with the period 
in which this form is present in Zambia and further south. 

87 



(4) In regions to the northward, 33 out of 38 specimens of natalensis fall 
in the period April to August, that is to say, the period in which natalensis is 
absent from the southern Katanga. 

(5) The segregation between natalensis and nominate picta is favoured by 
the fact that the reproduction of the latter does not take place during the 
period corresponding to the presence of natalensis in its winter quarters. On 
the other hand, in the southern part of Zaire and to the southward, where 
there exists a resident population of nominate picta, the two forms nest at the 
same time, and non-integration is possible. But attention is drawn to several 
specimens which could be intermediate. 

Acknowledgements: I am most grateful to Mr. C. W. Benson, who has 
provided me with much valuable information and who has had the extreme 
kindness to translate my paper. 

I am also much obliged to Mrs. R. T. Chapin, who examined the specimens 
in the American Museum of Natural History; and to Dr. H. Schifter (Vienna) 
and Mr. Devillers (Brussels), who were very helpful during my examination 
of the material under their care. 

References: 

Aurelien, Frere. 1957. Les oiseaux du Ruanda-Urundi. 1. Astrida, Rwanda. 
Benson, C. W. 1963. Breeding seasons of birds in the Rhodesias and Nyasaland. Proc. 
i$th Internat. Orn. Congr. II: 623-639. 

— 1964. Some intra- African migratory birds. Puku 2 : 5 3-66. 

Benson, C. W., Brooke, R. K., Dowsett, R. J. & Irwin, M. P. Stuart. 1971. The birds of 
Zambia. London: Collins. 

Benson, C. W., Brooke, R. K. & Vernon, C. J. 1964. Bird breeding data from the Rhode- 
sias and Nyasaland. Occ. Pap. Nat. Mus. S. Rhod. 27B: 30-105. 

Benson, C. W. & Irwin, M. P. Stuart. 1965. Some birds from the North-Western Province, 
Zambia. Arnoldia (Rhodesia) 1 (29): 11 pp. 

Chapin, J. P. 1939. The birds of the Belgian Congo: Part 3. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 75. 

Clancey, P. A. 1972. Miscellaneous taxonomic notes on African birds. Durban Mus. Novit. 
9(11): 145-146. 

Gyldenstolpe, N. 1924. Zoological results of the Swedish expedition to Central Africa 
1921. Vertebrata. I. Birds. Kungl. Sv. Vetensk. Akad. Handl. 3 (1), 3: 1-326. 

Lynes, H. & Sclater, W. L. 1934. Lynes- Vincent tour in Central and West Africa in 1930- 
31. Part II. Ibis (13) 4: 1-5 1. 

Mackworth-Praed, C. W. & Grant, C. H. B. 1970. African handbook of birds. Series III, 
Vol. 1. London: Longmans. 

Matschie, P. 1887. Der ornithologische Nachlass Dr. Richard Bohm's. II. Journ. Ornith. 
35: 135-156. 

Moreau, R. E. 1 966. The bird faunas of Africa and its islands. London : Academic Press. 

Neave, S. A. 1910. On the birds of Northern Rhodesia and the Katanga District of Congo- 
land (part 1). Ibis (9) 4: 78-155. 

Prigogine, A. 1961. Nids et oeufs recoltes au Kivu (Republique du Congo). Rev. Zool. Bot. 
Afr. 64: 248-264. 

— 1967. La faune ornithologique de Tile Idjwi. Rev. Zool. Bot. Afr. 75 : 249-274. 

— 1971. Les oiseaux de l'ltombwe et de son hinterland. Ann. Mus. Afr. Centr. 8, Sc. 

Zool. 185. 

— 1972. Nids et oeufs recoltes au Kivu. 2. (Republique du Zaire). Rev. Zool. Bot. Afr. 85 : 

203-226. 
Sassi, M. 191 2. Beitrag zur Ornis Zentralafrikas. Ann. k. k. Naturhist. Hofmus. 26: 347—393. 
Schalow, H. 1886. Der ornithologische Nachlass Dr. Richard Bohm's. Journ. Ornith. 34: 

409-436. 
Schouteden, H. 1942. Contributions a la faune ornithologique du Ruanda-Urundi. I. 

Collection J. A. Lestrade. Rev. Zool. Bot. Afr. 36: 329-342. 

— 195 1. De Vogels van Belgisch Congo en van Ruanda-Urundi. IV. Ann. Mus. Congo, 

C. Zool. (4) 3, fasc. 1. 

— 1965. La faune ornithologique des territoires de Dilolo et Kolwezi de la Province du 

Katanga. Mus. Roy. Afr. Centr. Doc. Zool. 9. 

— 1966a. La faune ornithologique du Rwanda. Mus. Roy. Afr. Centr. Doc. Zool. 10. 

— 1966b. La faune ornithologique du Burundi. Mus. Roy. Afr. Centr. Doc. Zool. 11. 

88 



Schouteden, H. 1968. La faune ornithologique du Kivu. I. Non passereaux. Mus. Roy. 
Afr. Centr. Doc. Zool. 12. 

— 1 97 1. La faune ornithologique de la Province du Katanga. Mus. Roy. Afr. Centr. Doc. 

Zool. 17. 
Traylor, M. A. 1963. Checklist of Angolan birds. Pub/. Cult. Comp. Cia. Diamant. Angola 61. 
Verheyen, R. 1947. Notes sur la faune ornithologique de l'Afrique Centrale. VIII. Bull. 

Mus. Hist. nat. Beige 23 (10): 4 pp. 

— 1953. Exploration du Pare National de VUpemba. Fasc. 19. Oiseaux. Bruxelles: Inst. 

Pares Nat. du Congo Beige. 
White, C. M. N. 1965. A revised check list of African non-passerine birds. Lusaka: Government 
Printer. 



Sped 



rimen data on Bucorvus leadbeateri 
by R.K. Brooke & A. C. Kemp 

Received 1st March, 197} 
Verheyen (1953) appears to be the only author to discuss moult in the 
Southern Ground Hornbill Bucorvus leadbeateri (Vigors), although Stresemann 
& Stresemann (1966) have discussed it in the related Abyssinian Ground 
Hornbill B. abyssinicus (Boddaert). R. K. B. had the opportunity to examine 
while fresh a dying subadult female B. leadbeateri brought into the National 
Museum in Bulawayo (NMB) on 6 June, the existing material preserved 
there, in the Queen Victoria Museum in Salisbury (QVM) and the Durban 
Museum (DM). A. C. K. examined the material preserved in the Transvaal 
Museum in Pretoria (TMP). 

Details of the state of moult and wear of the primaries, secondaries and 
rectrices are shown in Table 1. It will be noted that only three specimens 
show active primary moult (code letter G in Table 1) and these were col- 
lected in January, March and June. The bird taken on 3 October, probably 
about two years old since the egg-laying season in Rhodesia is August to 
November, shows a simple symmetrical descending mode of replacement 
of the primaries. However, a bird taken on 23 October, though long out of 
the nest, shows no sign of moulting, even though the adult female, collected 
on the following day in the same area, had an egg in the upper part of the 
oviduct. The 23 October bird is probably about one year old. In the 14 
adults and subadults moult is diagonal or asymmetrical starting in one wing 
after the other, although in which wing is a matter of individual variation. 
The data in Table 1 suggest that in B. leadbeateri the same pattern, with 
individual variation, of primary moult occurs as in B. abyssinicus studied by 
Stresemann & Stresemann (1966), i.e. diagonal stepwise descending moult 
in primaries 1 to 7 and diagonal stepwise ascending moult in primaries 10 to 
8. 

Active secondary moult was evident in three specimens, the two from 
June and January which also showed primary moult, and a third which 
showed no primary moult or data on collection. It may well be that more 
specimens than the three noted showed active moult of the secondaries but 
this aspect was not checked by R.K.B. The fresh B. leadbeateri had 17 
secondaries and the data in Table 1 suggest that asymmetry is less marked in 
moult of the secondaries than in the primaries, and also that there are three 
centres at which moult starts, i.e. secondaries 1 (the outermost), 10 or 
thereabouts and 16. There are four alula quills and their mode of moult is a 
descending one. The fresh B. leadbeateri had a subalular apterium similar to 
that described for B. abyssinicus by George & Casler (1972). 

Active rectrix moult was present in specimens taken in November, 

89 



TABLE i 

Details of moult in the primaries, secondaries and rectrices of Rucorvus leadbeateri 

A. PRIMARIES 
Material 



NMB 



Age & Sex 

9 
9 
9 

6* 



Subad. 

Ad. 

Ad. 
Ad. 

Ad. 

Juv. 

Ad. not 
sexed 

Ad. 

Ad. 

Ad. 

Ad. 

Ad. 



Date 

6 June 
12 Aug. 

7 Sept. 
4 Nov. 

14 Dec. 

3 Oct. 

3 July 

Aug. 

8 July 
no date 
21 Dec. 

23 Jan. 

24 Oct. 



QVM 
DM 



Ad. 

(on point of laying) 

Juv. 6* 23 Oct. 

Ad. 6* 25 March 

Subad. ? 29 July 



wing 










Pr 


manes 










1 


2 


3 


4 


5 


6 


7 


8 


9 


10 


L 


W 


\\" 


\V 


N 


F 


G 


O 


F 


F 


F 


R 


W 


w 


W 


W 


N 


F 


G 


O 


F 


F 


L 


N 


N 


F 


F 


W 


W 


W 


F 


N 


N 


R 


F 


F 


W 


w 


w 


W 


N 


F 


N 


N 


L 


N 


N 


F 


o 


o 


F 


O 


o 


F 


O 


L 


F 


F 


F 


F 


o 


F 


w 


w 


F 


w 


R 


N 


W 


N 


N 


N 


O 


o 


\v 


N 


N 


L 


N 


O 


W 


O 


o 


O 


o 


o 


o 


W 


R 


N 


w 


o 


\v 


o 


O 


o 


N 


o 


N 


L 


F 


F 


o 


o 


o 


O 


o 


o 


o 


O 


R 


F 


F 


o 


o 


o 


o 


o 


o 


o 


O 


L 


O 


N 


N 


N 


F 


w 


w 


w 


F 


N 


R 


O 


O 


N 


N 


F 


w 


w 


w 


F 


N 


L 


N 


N 


F 


W 


W 


N 


F 


w 


N 


N 


R 


N 


F 


F 


w 


\V 


\V 


\v 


N 


F 


N 


L 


N 


F 


F 


\v 


N 


N 


F 


o 


N 


N 


R 


N 


N 


F 


F 


W 


W 


W 


N 


F 


N 


L 


N 


w 


W 


W 


w 


w 


N 


F 


\V 


N 


R 


N 


N 


N 


N 


w 


w 


N 


N 


N 


N 


L 


N 


N 


N 


N 


N 


w 


N 


W 


N 


N 


R 


N 


N 


N 


N 


\V 


N 


N 


w 


N 


N 


L 


F 


G 


W 


N 


W 


G 


W 


w 


N 


N 


R 


N 


F 


G 


W 


W 


N 


G 


\v 


N 


G 


L 


N 


F 


F 


W 


N 


N 


N 


F 


W 


N 


R 


N 


F 


F 


w 


\V 


\V 


N 


F 


\v 


F 


L 


N 


N 


N 


N 


N 


N 


N 


N 


N 


N 


R 


N 


N 


N 


N 


N 


N 


N 


N 


N 


N 


L 


F 


F 


N 


F 


o 


G 


o 


O 


O 


— 


R 


F 


F 


N 


N 


F 


O 


o 


O 


'F 


_ 


R 


N 


N 


N 


N 


W 


F 


F 


o 


N 


F 



B. SECONDARIES 

Material Age e> Sex Date 



NMB 



Subad. $ 



6 June 



Wing 



TMP 




d 
f 


Ad. 

Ad. 


<5 


no date \ 
23 Jan. / 


Some : 


C. RECTRICES 










Material 






Age <&■ Sex 


Date 


Tail 
R 


NMB 


a 




Subad. 


9 


6 June 




b 




Ad. 


9 


12 Aug. 






c 




Ad. 


9 


7 Sept. 






d 




Ad. 


<J 


4 Nov. 






e 




Ad. 


9 


14 Dec. 






f 




Juv. 


o" 


3 Oct. 




QVM 






Ad. 


0* 


25 Mar 




TMP 


b 




Ad. 


9? 


Aug. 






c 




Ad. 


o* 


8 July 






d 




Ad 


9 


no date 






e 




Ad. 


9? 


21 Dec. 






f 




Ad. 


6" 


23 Jan. 






g 




Ad. 


9 


24 Oct. 










(on point 


of laying) 






h 




juv. 


S 


23 Oct 




DM 






Subad 


+ 


29 July 




Code: 




D = 


dropped 


F 


= fresh 


G = growing 






R = 


right 


W 


= worn 


— = damaged 



Secondaries 
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 
F GOOOOF GF F F WWWWF O 
FFOODFOGFFFNNNNFO 

Some feathers growing in secondaries of each wing 



5 


4 


3 


2 


1 


1 


2 


3 


4 


5 


W 


F 


N 


O 


N 


N 


O 


N 


F 


W 


F 


W 


O 


N 


O 


N 


o 


F 


W 


N 


O 


N 


W 


\V 


O 


W 


o 


N 


w 


F 


F 


N 


N 


N 


G 


G 


w 


N 


o 


F 


O 


\V 


N 


,— 


O 


N 


\v 


w 


w 


— 


O 


w 


W 


O 


N 


N 


o 


o 


o 


N 


o 


o 


N 


D 


G 


D 


D 


o 


N 


O 


w 


w 


N 


W 


W 


W 


N 


w 


w 


W 


w 


N 


N 


N 


N 


N 


W 


F 


w 


N 


\v 


w 


W 


W 


\V 


W 


N 


\v 


w 


\\" 


G 


N 


N 


N 


G 


N 


N 


N 


N 


G 


G 


N 


N 


G 


F 


F 


D 


N 


G 


D 


w 


F 


N 


W 


F 


O 


F 


\V 


N 


\Y 



NNWWWWWNNN 
ONNONN— — NO 



left 



old 



December, January and March and in all four is asymmetrical. The moult is 
not basically centrifugal, as stated by Friedmann (1930), nor does it adhere to 
the strict 5-1-4-2-3 order described for B. abyssinicus by Stresemann & 
Stresemann (1966). It has been found that the latter, the basic bucerotid mode 
of rectrix moult, does not hold for a large sample of three species oiTockus 
hornbills (Kemp in prep.) but rather the modified system 5 or 1 - 4 or 2 - 3. 
This modified mode of rectrix moult may also be more applicable to the data 
shown for B. leadbeateri m Table 1. 

Active moult is found in specimens taken between November and June 
and it is possible that it does not occur from July to October (the main egg 

90 



laying period) even in adult males and immatures of both sexes. Kemp (in 
prep.) reports nest helpers which are doubtless the immature members of the 
parties in which this species is habitually seen. 

The palate of the subadult female in the National Museum was purplish 
brown, the iris was pale yellow and the throat vermillion fringed with yellow. 
Other females in the National Museum and Transvaal Museum had violet 
blue as well as vermillion on the throat. Two specimens in the Transvaal 
Museum (TMP b and e in Table i) appear to have been mis-sexed as males, 
whereas the violet blue instead of red on the throat and small si2e (see below) 
indicate that they are females. From field observations (Kemp in prep.) it 
appears that breeding females, and probably all adult females, have a violet 
blue patch on the throat. The age at which the violet blue throat is attained 
is uncertain. 

Only one violet blue throated (fully adult female), one pink throated 
(immature), and one yellow throated (first year) bird, is found in B. leadbeateri 
parties which normally number four or five birds (Kemp in prep.) It appears 
that these parties may consist of an adult male, an adult female and their 
sexually immature offspring which are produced at a maximum rate of one a 
year. The normal clutch is two eggs but there is no record of more than one 
well grown nestling in a nest. A 50 per cent, mortality among immature 
jB. leadbeateri is by no means unlikely. This would mean that a party of five 
birds (two adults, three immatures) represents on average the result of six 
years of reproduction. Thus it is likely that B. leadbeateri is not sexually 
mature until at least its eighth year. 

The age at which sexual maturity is attained can also be approached from a 
study of the moult of the primaries. Of the 16 specimens we have examined 
only one has yet to moult the first of its primaries. Of the remaining 1 5 only 
three show active moult. Thus the period in which the primaries are replaced 
and which in most birds defines the total moult cycle, must be a very long 
one: we suggest at least three years. On this basis simple descending moult 
occupies the second, third and fourth years and normal wing length is 
attained when the second generation primaries 6 and 7 (the longest ones) 
have grown. The first diagonal stepwise moult occupies the fifth, sixth and 
seventh years and only after this can the bird be regarded as fully adult in 

TABLE 2 

Mensural data suggestive of sexual dimorphism in Bucorims leadbeateri 
Wing in mm 



Source 


6* 


? 


Sexed 6*> t> ut with 
violet blue on throat 


NMB 


550 (juv), 610 


450, 510, 550, 560 




QVM 


580 


— 




TMP 


525 (juv), 536, 558 


544 


512, 533, 546 


DM 


— 


575 




Verheyen (1953) 


520 (juv), 545, 
570, 570 


530 




Sanft (i960) 


496-618, av. (33) 
560 


495-5 50, av (10). 538 




Culmen in mm 








NMB 


198 (juv), 210 


178, 190, 195, 195 




QVM 


218 






TMP 


187 (JUV), 221 


207 


182, 185, 200 


DM 





180 




Verheyen (1953) 


160 (juv), 197, 
207, 210 


185 




Sanft (i960) 


190-221, av. 


168-215, av. 






(30) 207 


(10) 192 





plumage. During this second moult only females can be separated from 
adults through their lack of a violet blue throat. Second moult males are 
phenotypically adult and are treated as such in Table i. In nearly all hornbills 
immature birds resemble adult males, not adult females. A juvenile in Tables 
i and 2 is a bird which has not yet grown its second generation primaries 
6 and 7. 

It appears from Table 2 that females are mensurally somewhat smaller 
than males, especially in the length of the culmen. Wings were measured 
with a tape from the carpal joint to the tip of the longest primary which is 
sometimes the sixth but more often the seventh. Culmens were measured 
from the base to the tip with a tape, apparently also the method used by 
Verheyen (1953). Sanft's (i960) ranges do not distinguish between adult and 
juvenile birds. This is a pity since it appears from Table 2 that juvenile birds 
are mensurally smaller than adults and subadults of the same sex; nonetheless 
further study is needed. 

The fresh subadult female brought into the National Museum and very 
hungry weighed 2,230 g which is over 45 per cent, lower than the female 
weight of 4,000 g recorded in Sanft (i960). Weights of males recorded in 
Sanft(i96o) and Verheyen (1953) are 3,500, 3,575 and 3,937 g. 

We are obliged for facilities for study to M. P. Stuart Irwin in respect of the 
National Museum in Bulawayo, to M. A. Raath in respect of the Queen 
Victoria Museum and to P. A. Clancey in respect of the Durban Museum. 

References : 

Friedmann, H. 1930. The caudal moult of certain Coraciiform, Coliiform and Piciform 

birds. Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus. 77(7): 1-6. 
George, W. G. & Casler, C. L. 1972. Subalular apterium in birds. Auk 89 : 245-262. 
Sanft, K. i960. Bucerotidae. Tierreich 76. 

Stresemann, E. & Stresemann, V. 1966. Die mauser der Voegel. Journ. Ornith., sonderheft. 
Verheyen, R. 1953. Exploration du Pare National de VUpemba. Fasc. 19. Oiseaux. Brussels: 

Inst. Pares Nat. Congo Beige. 



The Status and Characters of the Races of the 
Red-backed Shrike Wintering in the South African 

Sub-Region 

by P. A. Clancey 

Received ptb January 197$ 
The Redbacked Shrike Lanius collurio Linnaeus is one of the commoner and 
more widely distributed of the Palaearctic migrants present in Africa south 
of the Cunene-Okavango-Zambesi Rivers during the period of the northern 
winter. On its wintering grounds, which extend from Angola, southern 
Zaire and Tanzania to the Orange R. and the eastern Cape (Moreau [1972] 
believes the winter range in eastern Africa to extend as far north as Kenya 
and the southern Sudan, and follows Fry in also listing Nigeria in West 
Africa), it occurs in various savanna woodland facies, and is perhaps most 
numerous in acaciaveld, in degraded areas, and on the scrubby and over- 
grown fringes of primitive cultivation. Redbacked Shrikes commence to 
arrive in the Sub-Region in the latter part of October, but do not become 
widespread until the second half of November, the majority departing the 
first half of April, but with a few laggards still present mid-May, and even 
early June in Zambia according to Benson et al. (1971). During their sojourn 

92 



the birds undergo a complete moult, which is at its height January-mid- 
March, the populations commencing their northward movement through 
the eastern half of Africa shortly after its completion. 

Variation used by workers to arrange the populations into acceptable 
subspecies is restricted to males, although, in fact, both sexes show reasonably 
well-marked geographical variation. In males, the forehead varies from pale 
neutral grey to almost white in far eastern populations, there is appreciable 
variation in the shade of grey of the rest of the head-top, hind and sides of 
the neck and the upper mantle, while the mantle and scapulars vary from 
almost tawny to deep vinous chestnut. In females the upper-parts vary from 
dull olivaceous to dark vinaceous brown, this variation appearing to follow 
a closely similar distributional pattern to that of the males. On the ventral 
surface there is marked variation in the whiteness or buffiness of the ground 
and in the degree of pectoral and lateral squamation. Currently three of the 
four races recognised by Vaurie (1959) are admitted to the South African 
list (Clancey [1966]; S.A.O.S. List Committee [1969]; McLachlan & Liver- 
sidge [1970]), nominate L. collurio and L. c. kobylini (Buturlin) supposedly 
common and widespread seasonally, with the central Palaearctic L. c. 
pallidifrons Johansen known from only two or three records from the north- 
ern Cape and South- West Africa. In an effort to arrive at a more satisfactory 
assessment of the relative abundance of these races on the South African 
wintering grounds and the characters by which they may be determined in 
this region, some 200 <$<$ from southern and eastern Africa were assembled 
and critically studied. In order to minimize the influence of habitat and 
seasonally induced as opposed to genetically based differences on the con- 
clusions drawn, the precautionary measure of dry cleaning about a third of 
the assembled specimens was taken. 

A series of some two hundred males is scarcely adequate for this type of 
research, and only from the territories of the Transvaal, Rhodesia and Zambia 
were samples anything like satisfactory. In allocating African hibernal 
material to races 10 <$<$ L. c. collurio from the western Palaearctic (Sweden, 
Lithuania, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Austria and Hungary) were used as 
controls. Of L. c. kobylini and L. c. pallidifrons I used short series kindly 
determined as of these races by Professor Hans Johansen, formerly of the 
Zoologisk Museum, Copenhagen, and the describer of the latter subspecies. 
No untoward difficulty was experienced in allocating the great bulk of the 
material to definite subspecific categories. Conclusions finally reached were 
on the basis of series laid out and viewed facing the light source, the sky 
moderately overcast and the time mid-morning. 

Bearing in mind the barely adequate nature of the material presently 
available, the following tentative conclusions were reached: (i) L. c. pallidi- 
frons is as numerous or slightly more so than L. c. collurio. Of 146 £<§ from 
the South African Sub-Region studied 3 9 per cent, were pallidifrons, with 
some 35 per cent, nominate collurio. (ii) Contrary to expectations, L. c. 
kobylini is far less numerous than either L. c. collurio or L. c. pallidifrons (26 
per cent.); (iii) L. c. pallidifrons winters largely in the Kalahari and adjacent 
xeric areas of the interior of the Sub-Region; (iv) L. c. kobylini winters 
extensively in northern South- West Africa, and in the east from Rhodesia 
and Mozambique south to Natal; (v) on the basis of present data no hibernal 
centrum is definable for L. c. collurio, which occurs throughout. In so far as 
the small British Isles population (L. c.juxtus Clancey), with backs in males 
umber brown rather than rufous, is concerned, this study shows that it 

93 



does not extend to within present limits, and its wintering grounds are 
clearly extra-limital (?=hygric regions of Angola or southern Zaire). 

In the case of Zambia, the one extra-limital African territory within the 
species' wintering range from which a reasonably adequate panel of adult 
males has been available to me, all three races wintering in the South African 



Territory 
Cape 


N 

IO 


TABLfc 

L. c. collurio 
5 (50%) 
3 Nov. - 15 Jan. 


1 

Race 

L. c. pallidifrons 

4(40%) 
Jan. - 27 Mar. 


L. c. kobylini 
1 (10%) 
12 Mar. 


South-West 
Africa 


9 


2(22-2%) 

8 Dec. - 6 Mar. 


i(ii-i%) 
3 Dec. 


6(66-7%) 
9-28 Mar. 


Botswana 


17 


6(35-3%) 
13 Nov. - 30 Mar. 


9(52-9%) 
12 Nov. - 15 Apr. 


2(11-8%) 
20 Feb. 


Rhodesia 


52 


15(28-8%) 
14 Nov. - 17 Mar. 


20(38-5%) 
23 Nov. - 10 Apr. 


17(32-7%) 
1 1 Nov. - 1 1 Apr. 


Transvaal 
(mainly west) 


35 


14(20%) 
7 Nov. - 12 Apr. 


17(48-6%) 
12 Nov. - Apr. 


4(ii-4%) 
28 Sep.(?) - 23 Feb 


Natal, Swaziland 
& East Griqualand 


18 


6(33-3%) 
19 Nov. - 11 Feb. 


6(33-3%) 
24 Nov. - 4 Mar. 


6(33-3%) 
4 Jan. - 1 Apr. 


Mozambique 


5 


3 

27 Nov. - 24 May 


— 


2 
1 Mar. - 7 Apr. 


Extra-limital 










Zambia 


35 


ii(3i-4%) 
27 Oct. - 7 Apr. 


16 (45-7%) 
29 Oct. - 14 Apr. 


8(22-9%) 
21 Mar. - 8 Apr. 



Lanius collurio Linnaeus 
Allocation of South African Sub-Region and Zambian material of adult £$ Redbacked 
Shrikes to subspecies. The assumed relative abundance of each subspecies in a territory's 
sample is given in the form of a simple percentage. The first and last dates of specimens in 
each sample are enumerated for the guidance of future workers. 



Sub-Region were found to occur, as was to be expected. It will be appreciated 
from accompanying Table I that the same position as recorded for South 
Africa obtains in Zambia, with pallidifrons the commonest of the three 
Redbacked Shrike races, and kobylini the least so. It is evident from the com- 
ments of Benson et al. (1971), that Zambian data in large measure corrobor- 
ate my findings for the South African Sub-Region. 

Vaurie (1959) has defined the breeding ranges and racial characters of the 
four races of L. collurio, sens, strict. , on the basis of material from the Palae- 
arctic. Examination of skins of both sexes just through the moult from South 
Africa shows that the criteria ascribed to the individual races by Vaurie 
require to be modified and expanded somewhat. Hereunder I give my con- 
clusions as to the characters of use in allocating wintering material taken in 
southern and eastern Africa to subspecies. The breeding ranges have been 
laid down in Vaurie's work; in so far as Africa is concerned, the races 
appear to be synhiemal, or mainly so. 
(a) Lanius collurio collurio Linnaeus, 1758: Sweden 

o*. Forehead Pale Neutral Gray (Ridgway [191 2], pi. liii), merging 
insensibly in to Neutral Gray (same pi.) on the crown, nape, hind and 
sides of the neck and upper mantle; mantle and scapulars Snuff Brown 

94 



(pi. xxix). Tertials with snuff brown extending over most of outer and 

part of inner vane. 

$. Upper-parts Saccardo's Umber (pi. xxix), the hind neck greyer, and 

breast and lateral ventral surfaces heavily squamated with dusky on a 

whitish ground. 
Remarks: Specimens unequivocally of this subspecies were examined from 
South- West Africa and the Cape, east to the Mozambique littoral, with no 
evidence from the available data of a preference for any particular sector of 
the Sub-Region. 

(b) Lanius collurio pallidifrons Johansen, 1952 (1944): Tomsk, Western 
Siberia, U.S.S.R. 

o*. As in nominate collurio, but with the grey of the forehead lighter, 
often whitish (Pallid Neutral Gray [pi. liii]), merging to Light Neutral 
Gray (same pi.) on the crown, nape, neck and upper mantle, this sharply 
demarcated from the redder mantle and scapulars (close to Russet [pi. 
xv]). Tertials as in collurio. 

9- Upper-parts rather lighter, slightly redder, less olivaceous, especially 
over the mantle and scapulars than in collurio, and hind neck greyer 
(mantle and scapulars Sayal Brown [pi. xxix]). Ventrally about the same. 
Remarks: Originally identified from South Africa on the basis of a male 
taken at Riverton, Kimberley, northern Cape (Clancey [1961]), and later 
recorded from Olyvenhout Drift, near Upington, on the Orange R. by 
Winterbottom (1968) and "Quickborn" Farm, Okahandja, South- West 
Africa (identified specimen in Transvaal Museum not alluded to by Winter- 
bottom [1971]). Now established as almost certainly the most numerous of 
the three subspecies occurring within present limits, wintering largely in the 
Kalahari and peripheral xeric areas of the South West Arid District. Records 
are now available from the northern Cape, South- West Africa (Okahandja), 
Botswana, Rhodesia, the Transvaal (mainly dry western) and Natal (coast). 
There are also numerous records from Zambia, in which territory probably 
largely a transient to and from desertic areas further south. 

A typical example of pallidifrons from Kitale, Kenya, is in the collection 
of the South African Museum, Cape Town. The specimen concerned is 
dated 7th April, 1929, and was presumably on northbound migration when 
taken. 

Vaurie (1959) records that both pallidifrons and nominate collurio hybridize 
freely with/., c.phoenicuroides (Schalow), 1875 : Chimkent, Russian Turkestan, 
where their ranges meet, though there is no evidence of any stage of this in 
South African material (of adult males, as well as sub-adults and adult 
females), and such interracial hybrids must winter within the Ethiopian non- 
breeding range oiphoenicuroides, which is from L. Chad, east to south-western 
Arabia and Somalia, south in the east of Africa to Malawi (Livings tonia). 
Not south of the Zambesi R. 

(c) Lanius collurio kobylini (Buturlin), 1906: Kutais and Ssuran, Trans- 
caucasia, U.S.S.R. 

<£. Grey of head-top, hind and sides of the neck and upper mantle darker 
and bluer than in nominate collurio (about Dark Gull Gray [pi. liii]), 
this frequently more extended caudad over the mantle; mantle and 
scapulars darker and more saturated, being deep vinous brown (Chest- 
nut Brown [pi. xiv]). Tertials darker, with the snuff brown generally 
restricted to the lateral outer vane, and the tip starkly white or huffish 
white in each feather when in a pristine condition. 

95 



( 






2 6 j UN19t* 

$. When freshly moulted much darker vinaceous brown above than 

collurio (mantle and scapulars Prout's Brown [pi. xv]). Below with 
buffish or vinaceous tinge to ground,* and reduced, often vestigial, 
squamation. 

Remarks: This race appears to winter extensively in northern South- West 
Africa, and in the east in Rhodesia and Mozambique, south to Natal; it is 
relatively poorly represented in the samples from the northern Cape (i), 
Botswana and the western Transvaal, in which xeric region pallidifrons pre- 
dominates. L. c. kobylini occurs commonly on. passage in coastal Kenya, being 
the only race represented in the series from that area in the Durban Museum 
collection. Zambian records are dated 21st March-8th April, suggesting its 
occurrence there is also that of a transient. 

AC KNOWLEDGEMENTS 

For the loan of material to augment that in the Durban Museum, I 
acknowledge indebtedness to the South African Museum, Cape Town (Dr. 
J. M. Winterbottom), the Transvaal Museum, Pretoria (Mr. A. C. Kemp), 
the State Museum, Windhoek (Mr. P. J. Buys), and the National Museums 
of Rhodesia, Bulawayo (Mr. M. P. Stuart Irwin). I am also grateful to Pro- 
fessor Hans Johansen, formerly of the staff of the Zoologisk Museum, 
Copenhagen, for his assistance with these shrikes and for determining 
material submitted to him. Some two hundred adult males and a rather 
larger number of sub-adult males and females were studied during the course 
of this investigation. 

References : 

Benson, C. W. et al. 1971. Birds of Zambia. London: 293. 

Clancey, P. A. 1961. The West Siberian race of the Red-backed Shrike in South Africa, 
Ostrich, 32 (3): 143. 

— 1966. A Catalogue of Birds of the South African Sub-Region, Durban Mus. Novit., 7 

(12): 530, 531. 
McLachlan, G. R. & Liversidge, R. 1970. Roberts' Birds of South Africa. Cape Town: 481. 
Moreau, R. E. 1972. The Palaearctic- African Bird Migration Systems. London and New York: 

130-132. 
Ridgway, R. 191 2. Color Standards and Color Nomenclature. Washington. 
S.A.O.S. List Committee, 1969. Check List of the Birds of South Africa. Cape Town: 272, 273. 
Vaurie, C. 1959. Birds of the Palearctic Fauna. London. 1 (Passeriformes) : 96-100. 
Winterbottom, J. M. 1968. Check List of the land and fresh water birds of the western Cape 

Province, Ann. S. Afr. Mus., 53 (1): 232. 

— 1 97 1. Preliminary Check List of the Birds of South West Africa. Windhoek: 215, 216. 

ADDENDUM 

Since the above report on Lanius collurio in the South African Sub-Region 
was prepared and submitted for publication, I have been able to study a 
recently obtained series of freshly moulted examples from Angola. Six $$, 
two $$ in immaculate dress from Mocamedes (Bibala) and Huila (Chibemba 
[Gambos] and Cahama) taken between 19th February and 6th April (1967- 
1970) are all unequivocal L. c. kobylini. These specimens have wings in $$ 
94. 5 - 9 8 > $$ 94- 5, 95 • 5 mm; weights <$$ 27 - 32, $$ 24, 25 gm. The dis- 
covery that L. c. kobylini winters in numbers in south-western Angola ties 
in with the finding enunciated above that it is the main race occurring in 
northern South- West Africa, immediately south of Mocamedes and Huila. 
I am grateful to Dr. A. A. da Rosa Pinto for the loan of the material in the 
collection of the Instituto de Investigacao cientifica de Angola, Sa da 
Bandeira. 

96 



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Published by the BRITISH ORNITHOLOGISTS' CLUB and printed by 
The Caxton and Holmesdale Press, 104 London Road, Sevenoaks, Kent. 



Bulletin of the 



British Ornithologists' Club 




Edited by 
C. W. BENSON 



Volume 93 No. 3 



September 1 973 



Committee 

Sir Hugh Elliott, Bt., o.b.e. {Chairman) 

J. H. Elgood {Vice-Chairman) 

C. W. Benson, o.b.e. {Editor) 

R. E. F. Peal (Hon, Secretary) 

P. Tate {Hon. Treasurer) 

J. H. R. Boswall 

Dr. P. J. K. Burton 

P. Hogg 

C. J. Mead 



Bulletin of the 

BRITISH ORNITHOLOGISTS' CLUB 

Vol. 93 No. 3 Published: 20 September, 1973 

The six hundred and eighty-third meeting of the Club was held at the 
Cafe Royal, 68 Regent Street, London, W.i., on Tuesday, 17th July, 1973 
at 7 p.m. 

Chairman: Sir Hugh Elliott, Bt., o.b.e., present 12 members and four 
guests. 

Captain Collingwood Ingram read the communication given below and 
exhibited down feathers of an Eider So materia mo//issima*. 

Mr. Robert Spencer gave an address on feeding by Siskins in gardens, 
illustrated by slides. 

*"Fifty-three years ago, at one of the Club's dinners {Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 
40, 1920: 121), I showed an exhibit which aroused so much interest that I 
thought some of you might like to see it. While on a visit to one of the more 
northern of the Orkney Islands I was able to examine a fully developed 
embryo of an Eider. It was in an egg which had been abandoned by the 
incubating bird when on the point of being hatched. The dead embryo was 
still wet from the viscous fluid of the egg's albumen, and so had the usual 
bedraggled appearance of an unhatched chick. What at first sight seemed to 
be a clotted mass of wet hairs proved on close examination to be in fact the 
chick's covering of down feathers, unrecognisable because every feather was 
enclosed in a protective sheath. Although the encased neossoptiles, or down 
feathers, each had about twenty barbs, these were so tightly compressed 
within the protective sheath that they looked more like single horse-hairs 
than feathers. When dry the integument of the protective sheaths becomes 
very friable, and in an incredibly short time after hatching it disintegrates 
from the bottom upwards, finally disappearing completely. Thus in a matter 
of minutes the erstwhile besodden and bedraggled object becomes trans- 
formed into a fluffy little duckling clothed all over in a dark blackish down". 



Migration of Motacilla alba alha 

by John Larmuth 

Received rph April, 197) 
During the last week of March 1962 I was on board the Adriatica Lines M.V. 
Esperia bound for Beirut, from Naples, via Alexandria. The second part of 
this voyage is on an approximately north-easterly course. At 19.30 hrs., 
when night had fallen and the ship was between 100-150 miles north of the 
Egyptian coastline, it was noticed, upon coming on deck, that the air within 
visible range of the ship's lights was occupied by a dense flock of wagtails of 
the genus Motacilla flying parallel to the ship at a speed 2-3 knots greater than 
that of the ship (about 17 knots). It was estimated that a minimum of 5- 
10,000 birds were passing the ship at any one time and that any one bird 
took about two minutes to pass from stern to bow. Birds were not observed 
returning to the neighbourhood of the ship once they had passed ahead into 
the darkness. Every available bit of deck space, and every perch was occupied 
by resting birds. The passage was observed until 02.00 hrs., when I retired 
to my cabin. 

97 



In the morning no living birds were seen, but many thousands of dead 
Motacilla a. alba were being hosed into the scuppers during cleaning up 
operations. 

The total number of birds passing the ship during the time of this observa- 
tion may conservatively be estimated at 1,000,000. 

During flight, in the normal undulatory manner, it was noticed that large 
numbers of the birds in the lower part of the flock were flying into waves, 
when a water wave crest coincided with a flight trough. It is possible that 
the flock was flying at an unusually low height due to the presence of the ship. 

[K. D. Smith, to whom the above note was shown, has commented as follows: "I cannot 
recall a published record of visual M. alba passage across the Mediterranean on such a vast 
scale, though there may be comparable observations in the literature. But it seems reason- 
able to suppose that after the desert crossing the migrants ran into strong, southerly 
khamsin winds, '. . . which constitute a special hazard to migrants. They blow with 
devastating violence, typically for periods of two or three days, and at their worst cause 
sand-storms.' (Moreau, 1961. Ibis 103a: 386). Maybe exhaustion caused them to fly into the 
water, and it is difficult to account for the mortality other than turbulent conditions further 
south which may have prevented a landing on the coast of Egypt." — Ed.\ 



Wing moult of Ruddy Ducks in Manitoba 

by W. Roy Siegfried 

Received jth May, 19J3 
Two southern hemisphere stifftails, Oxyura australis and O. maccoa have been 
reported as moulting the remiges twice annually (Frith 1967; Siegfried 1970). 
This paper presents evidence for a similar double wing moult in a wild 
population of the northern hemisphere Ruddy Duck O.j.jamaicensis. 

During May - August 1971 I collected Ruddy Ducks on their breeding 
grounds in south-western Manitoba, Canada. Seventy specimens were 
examined for moult. I also noted the presence or absence of wing moult in a 
large number of live Ruddy Ducks observed in the field. Additional, useful 
information was obtained from birds which had been live- trapped. 

TABLE 1 

Numbers of male and female Ruddy Ducks replacing remiges. Totals of birds checked for 
presence or absence of wing moult are given in parentheses. 

May June July August 

1-15 16-31 1— 1 5 16-30 1— 1 5 16-31 1— 1 5 16-31 



St 

(38) 



(59) 



(65) 




(42) 




(79) 


4 
(47) 


21 
(60) 


9 
(22) 


99 1 
(43) 



(61) 


($0 




(45) 




(62) 



(60) 


(6 2 i) 


2 

(9) 



Two out of 22 specimens examined in the hand during the period 15th 
May to 1 5 th June were found to have the bases of the fully grown primary 
shafts still encircled by remnants of the feather sheaths. In two of these birds, 
male and female both in full adult breeding plumage, the remnant sheaths 
extended 5-10 mm up the shafts of the distal primaries. The primary feathers 
of all specimens collected in May were fresh and immaculate. They appeared 
to have been newly acquired, probably in late-winter/early spring, and prior 
to the birds' arrival in early May in Manitoba. Two females, however, were 

98 



found to have developing, less than half-grown remiges. Clearly, these 
individuals must have commenced moulting the wings after having com- 
pleted the spring migration. One of these birds was first observed on 15 th 
May, and the other individual was taken in a decoy trap on 9th June. This 
female was fitted with a beak marker. Subsequently, she made one attempt 
to breed, but lost the eggs to a predator. I consider these two cases, of birds 
moulting soon after arrival on the Manitoba breeding grounds, as atypical ; 
and believe that the birds were first-year individuals which hatched relatively 
late in 1970 and/ or in an area to the south of Manitoba. Table 1 shows that, 
commencing August the incidence of moult of the remiges was common, 
especially in males, in the population. Those males which were in the process 
of replacing their remiges were still in mainly bright breeding plumage. 

In summary, it appears that generally Ruddy Ducks breeding in Manitoba 
moult their wings in late-summer/early-fall before departing for their winter 
quarters where presumably they undergo a second wing moult in late- winter/ 
early-spring before migrating northwards. 

In a previous paper (Siegfried 1970), I could offer no explanation as to 
what the selective advantage of this remarkable double wing moult might be 
to the Oxyurini. I can add very little to this except to note that none of the 
Ruddy Duck specimens, including those collected in late summer, showed 
any obvious signs of hard wear on the remiges. By contrast, a male O. 
maccoa examined during its breeding cycle in the south-western Cape, South 
Africa, had its secondary flight feathers (nos. 1 - 6) worn down to about 
half their normal length. Wear of this kind presumably might result by 
frequent performance of display flights across water (see Johnsgard 1965, 
1968 for descriptions of this behaviour). However, display flights occur less 
often in O. maccoa than in O. j. jamaicensis, though the season for their 
occurrence is considerably longer in individual O. maccoa (Siegfried unpubl.) 

Acknowledgements : 

The work was made possible by grants from the Delta Waterfowl Research 
Station, the Chapman Memorial Fund of the American Museum of Natural 
History, the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research 
and the University of Cape Town. I am grateful to these bodies for their 
support. The Canadian Wildlife Service gave permission for the taking of 
birds. 

References : 

Frith, H. J. 1967. Waterfowl in Australia. Sydney: Angus & Robertson. 

Johnsgard, P. A. 1965. Handbook of Waterfowl Behaviour. London: Constable. 

— 1968. Some observations on Maccoa Duck behaviour. Ostrich 39: 219-222. 

Siegfried, W. R. 1970. Double wing-moult in the Maccoa Duck. Wildfowl 21: 122. 



Numenius rninutus, Falco subbuteo and 
Caprimulgus europaeus in the Seychelles 

by C. J. Feare 

Received 16th May, 19 jf 

Among many migrant land and shorebirds recorded in the Seychelles in 
October, November and December 1972 were some new to the Malagasy 
Region. Three of these, Numenius rninutus, Falco subbuteo and Caprimulgus 
europaeus, were identified from photographs by Messrs. C. W. Benson and 

99 



R. Wagstaffe. The photograph of N. minutus was taken by Dr. R. J. Raines, 
while those of F. subbuteo and C. europaeus were taken by Mr. Guy Savy, and 
all of these have been deposited in the University Museum of Zoology, 
Cambridge. These species all occurred on Bird Island, the northernmost 
island of the Seychelles archipelago. The N. minutus was first seen there on 
14th October 1972, during my residence on the island, and I therefore had 
many opportunities of watching and filming the bird. According to Mr. Savy, 
it was still present in late December 1972. The F. subbuteo was found dying 
and the C. europaeus found dead in early December by Mr. Savy, who 
measured the wing (flattened chord), bill (from feathers) and tarsus of each 
bird, and kindly sent photographs of them to me. 
The following details of these birds were obtained : 

Numenius minutus: 

Inflight, this bird was immediately distinguishable from all other palaearctic 
shorebirds by its resemblance to a small, sandy-coloured Whimbrel iV. 
phaeopus, but completely lacking white on the rump and back. Its general 
appearance was of a warm sandy-buff coloured bird with darker brown 
markings, especially on the dorsal surfaces. It lacked the "deep-chested" 
appearance of a Whimbrel. 

At rest, it was much smaller than a Whimbrel, and also smaller than a Bar- 
tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica. It stood about as tall as a Grey Plover 
Squatarola squatarola but had a much slimmer build. The back and wings were 
creamy-buff spotted with dark brown. The tail was similarly marked, but the 
spots tended to form bars across the tail. The rump was the same colour as 
the back. The breast was sandy-buff, almost clear but lightly streaked with 
brown, especially on the sides. The belly and under tail coverts were a 
clear creamy-buff, and long creamy-buff feathers projected backwards from 
the top of the thigh. The superciliary stripes, a stripe down the centre of the 
crown, and the cheeks, were creamy-buff, much paler than in Whimbrels, 
while the rest of the crown and a mark between the superciliary stripe and 
the cheek were rich brown. The back of the head had a much more square 
appearance than in Whimbrels. The bill was comparatively short but down- 
curved ; it was brown with a pink base, this being especially noticeable on the 
lower mandible. The legs were creamish-grey. 

When flushed the bird uttered a fairly faint but harsh croak, sometimes 
di- or tri-syllabic, in which case it resembled the beginning of a Whimbrel's 
call. The only other call heard was a trill, which was given while Dr. Raines 
was stalking the bird in order to obtain photographs. 

It was always found in open country on the island, usually on the half- 
completed airstrip, but occasionally in grassy areas in the Sooty Tern Sterna 
fuscata colony. 

This species breeds in north-east Siberia and normally winters in Austra- 
lasia, and its appearance in Seychelles was probably a freak occurrence. 

Falco subbuteo : 

This bird was captured and photographed alive in early December 1972, 
but it subsequently died. The measurements obtained were: wing 265 mm, 
bill 14 mm, tarsus 26 mm. According to Mr. Benson the bird was an adult, 
and the wing length places it in the nominate race. 

Between October and April of the years 1971-72 and 1972-73 several 
unidentified falcons have been seen in the Seychelles. Benson & Penny {Phil. 
Trans. R. Soc. 260B, 1971: 515-516) have stressed the difficulties of identi- 
fying falcons on Aldabra, where they considered that most migrants were 



probably attributable to F. eleonorae or F. concolor. This may also be true of 
migrant falcons in the Seychelles, but F. subbuteo may also occur regularly. 

Caprimulgus europaeus: 

This bird was found dead in early December 1972, and its measurements 
were as follows: wing 190 mm, bill 6 mm, tarsus 15 mm. In view of its dark 
colour and long wing Mr. Benson concluded that it was of the nominate race, 
and the absence of white on the outer rectrices and of white spots on the 
primaries indicated that this bird was a female. 



Subalpine and Grasshopper Warblers in Sierra Leone 

by G. D. Field 

Received 10 th May, 1973 

Neither the Subalpine Warbler Sylvia cantillans nor the Grasshopper Warbler 
Locustella naevia has hitherto been recorded wintering in the forest zone of 
West Africa. Moreau (1972) summarised the available information on the 
wintering grounds of S. cantillans as the borders of the southern Sahara 
eastwards to Lake Chad, with the most southerly record at about n°N in 
Nigeria, while for L. naevia, apart from one record of L. n. straminea in 
Ethiopia, there are now several records of spring and autumn passage from 
the western Sahara between Morocco and Senegal, from which Moreau 
concluded "It is at least certain that many Grasshopper Warblers must winter 
in West Africa, presumably in a zone more humid than Senegal". It may, 
therefore, be of interest to record the occurrence of both species in Sierra 
Leone in the early months of 1973. 

On the evening of 1st February at 18.45 (almost dusk) I saw a small bird 
fly across a creek of the Sierra Leone River about eight miles south-west of 
Freetown at 13 08' W and 8° 21' N. It disappeared into an isolated triangular 
patch of Avicennia mangroves, only a few yards thick, growing on a piece of 
waste land beside the jetty. Idly wondering whether it might be an Acro- 
cephalus warbler, I approached and caught a glimpse of a mantle so blue-grey 
that I was reminded of one of the grey Muscicapa flycatchers, but behaviour 
showed at once that it was a warbler. By walking slowly back and forth 
along the two landward sides of the mangrove thicket I was able to catch 
sufficient fleeting views to take an adequate description. The bird was not 
shy but extremely active, insect-hunting low down among the leaves, rarely 
more than two feet above the ground though often close to the edge. Often 
its progress could only be followed by the movements of the leaves as it 
worked through the bushes ; once it made a little vertical flight up and down, 
flycatcher-like. I watched it until it became too dark for further observations 
and took the following description : upper parts blue-grey, particularly bright 
on the head, wings browner with pale feather edgings ; a clear and striking 
white moustache streak; underside brick red or pinkish russet, becoming 
duller on belly, under tail coverts whitish. Beak dark, eye red (this would, in 
fact, have been the eye-ring). 

The isolated occurrence of one Subalpine Warbler is not of great signifi- 
cance, though it is interesting that the habitat — Avicennia mangroves — is the 
same as that recorded in the Gambia. By its very nature such a habitat is not 
easily searched for birds and there are vast areas between Gambia and Sierra 
Leone which could be frequented by the species without discovery. 



The record of the Grasshopper Warbler is more interesting in that at 
least two and possibly three individuals were concerned. I spent March 25 th 
to 29th at a small town, Njala Komboya, in central Sierra Leone, ii° 27' W 
and 8° 12' N, for the purpose of making a rapid bird survey of an area not 
previously visited. The country is remote and entirely rural. A barely 
motorable road reaches Njala from the south and beyond are only footpaths 
to villages from which agriculture is practised on the basis of shifting culti- 
vation. It is an area of well- watered, often swampy, valleys and small hills 
rising at their highest to 1,400 ft. a.s.l. All was once forested and patches of 
high forest remain, particularly around villages as 'sacred bush', as well as 
riverine forest along streams. The bush is cut and burnt for a season's 
agricultural operations and then left to regenerate for several years, the 
result being a thick and virtually impenetrable tangle. Other areas have been 
taken over by grass and here a variety of savanna species have entered, there 
resulting a typical mosaic of forest and derived savanna vegetation. 

I was at once struck by the richness of the bird fauna, particularly of 
passerine palaearctic migrants: Sylvia borin was extraordinarily abundant 
while Hippolais polyglotta and Acrocephalus scirpaceus were seen far more often 
than normally in Sierra Leone and I suspect that the birds were on passage 
especially as the commonest migrant warbler Phylloscopus trochilus was vir- 
tually absent and had presumably already left. The Reed Warblers were 
particularly interesting, seen not only in their normal wintering habitat of 
long, coarse grass but also in burnt vegetation and even thick bush. 

One north-facing hillside consisted at the top of thick, dry bush some 25 
feet high, on one side of the path newly felled. Down the slope there was a 
patch of rocky deciduous forest, dominated by a few huge Ceiba pentandra 
trees, the smaller trees beneath almost bare and with little ground vegetation. 
Below this was lusher thick bush up to 1 5 feet high and along the valley floor 
ran a stream with a strip of dense riverine forest along its banks, the whole 
slope being some five or six hundred yards long. On 28th March in mid 
morning a small warbler flicked across the path at the lower edge of the forest 
patch and crept at great speed through the tangles. Though puzzled I could 
only assume that it was a Reed Warbler and as there was no hope of seeing 
it again I ignored it. On 29th March at 8 a.m. in the thick bush just above the 
stream, some two hundred yards further down, I flushed a small bird from 
on or near the ground close beside the path; it flew a few feet and then 
skulked through the shrubs close to ground level and crept away. All I caught 
was a glimpse of a brown upperside heavily spotted and noted "very grass- 
hopper warbler-like". I waited for some time without seeing it again but a 
few minutes after it had disappeared I heard a short, sharp, truncated burst 
of reeling song, lasting only a few seconds, quite unlike anything previously 
heard in Sierra Leone but reminding me at once of a Grasshopper Warbler. 

Two hours later on my way home I flushed another bird in the dry bush 
at the top of the hill, again from close beside the path. Because it was between 
the path and the felled area the bird could only fly three or four yards from ! 
me, where it stopped on a small branch two feet up and peered at me, dipping 
forward and flicking from side to side in undecided fashion, later taking little | 
hops behind the leaves and stopping again to peer, sometimes craning right I 
up to look at me over the leaves, appearing in such a posture almost pipit-like, I 
Finally, having made up its mind, it threaded its way quickly and efficiently 
through the vegetation, coming in fact extremely close to me but most of j 
the time lost to sight behind the thick foliage of a felled tree, and when I 
moved to keep pace with it it disappeared entirely. 



Despite the fact that it was moving almost the whole time I had good views 
at close range and took the following description: general appearance 
distinctly smaller than Sylvia borin, slimly proportioned with a rather long 
and wedge-pointed tail, beak straight, neither pronounced like Acrocephalus 
scirpaceus nor curved like the Cisticola genus. When moving it crept hunched 
and mouselike, though when craning to look at me it stood quite tall. Whole 
bird rather pale olive-brown ; head top finely streaked with no noticeable eye- 
stripe but a definite small circle of pale bare skin round the eye, mantle 
rather plain olive-brown with fewer spots but back and wings heavily 
spotted with dark brown, flight feathers dark. Tail plain brown with a slight 
suspicion when fluffed out of a pale outer edge. Underside : chin and belly 
whitish, breast pale olive-brown, faintly drop streaked, flanks and under tail 
coverts far more heavily streaked. Eye dark, beak upper mandible dark, 
lower rather bright yellow (it was difficult to be certain how the two colours 
combined, the impression being that most of the yellow was at the gape 
rather than the tip), legs rather bright pinkish flesh. The whole bird gave the 
appearance of being decisively coloured and newly moulted. 

There can be little reasonable doubt that two individuals were involved on 
29th March and possibly a third on 28th March. That such a skulking bird 
should be seen twice in one morning suggests that it was locally abundant 
and this, in conjunction with the movements of other warblers in the area, 
suggests that some migratory movement was taking place. 

Reference : 

Moreau, R. E. 1972. The Palaearctic- African Bird Migration Systems. London & New York: 
Academic Press. 



Some calls and behaviour patterns of the Plumbeous 
and Rufous Pigeons 

by Derek Goodwin 

Received 21st May, 197) 
INTRODUCTION 

In October and November 1972 I made some observations on Plumbeous 
Pigeons Columba plumbea in the Serra dos Orgaos National Park and in the 
Boraceia Forest Reserve, in south-eastern Brazil, and on a captive Rufous 
Pigeon C. cayennensis in a large aviary at the Belem Zoo. With the exception 
of the advertising coo of the Rufous Pigeon, the calls heard and behaviour 
patterns observed do not appear to have been described for these species. 
They are, therefore, given here and comparisons made with some other 
neotropical species (Goodwin 1964, Skutch 1964). 

In attempting to transcribe cooing sounds, I have, as previously (Goodwin 
1956a, 1970) used 66 to indicate a sound similar to the 00 in the southern 
English pronunciation of the words "Rook", "cook" and "look", and 06 
for a longer sound similar to the 00 in the words "boot", "root" and "cool". 

The sketches are an attempt to give an impression of some of the postures 
described. They have no pretentions to art or detailed accuracy. 

THE PLUMBEOUS PIGEON 

At Serra dos Orgaos this species appeared widespread, although not very 
numerous, in tall, dense hill forest and relatively most abundant on areas of 

103 



high, rocky ground where the largest trees were, with a few exceptions, 
smaller in size, and where the trees were interspersed with large succulents 
and other shrubs. In this favoured habitat the nearest calling individuals 
appeared to be about 400 yards from each other. At Boraceia, where there 
was none of this rocky habitat in the hill forest where I observed it, the species 
appeared to be much less numerous and far more wary of man. At Serra dos 
Orgaos, most individuals permitted approach to within quite reasonable 
binocular range without concealment, and with a little stalking and wood- 
craft could sometimes be observed from very close quarters. In both places, 
however, the denseness of the vegetation often prevented me from seeing 
pigeons that were calling very close at hand. 

The most detailed observations were made at Serra dos Orgaos on 21st 
and 25 th October. Here the behaviour shown suggested that the pigeons 
were probably starting their breeding season and that the majority of calling 
individuals were males as yet unpaired, as they were usually alone. Further 
observations are needed to confirm this, as it is possible that there may have 
been undiscovered nests and, if so, that either the female sits for longer 
periods than is usual for those species of pigeons in which the share of the 
sexes in incubation is known, or that females of this species give the adver- 
tising coo in their "off duty" periods. 

Plumbeous Pigeons were seen feeding on only two occasions, once a 
presumed pair and once a single bird, taking fruit from the canopy of smallish 
trees. Each bird satisfied itself in less than 15 minutes, which suggests that, 
at this period, these pigeons needed very little time to obtain food. 

Voice: The advertising coo is a rather bubbly-sounding "66k, ookook, 
ookoo". Unlike most other pigeons whose voice is known to me, C. plumbea 
appeared never to repeat the advertising coo two or more times without 
pause. One that I repeatedly timed took just under three seconds to utter the 
cooing phrase and, when calling regularly, paused for five to six seconds 
before calling again. At fairly close range the first note of the phrase was 
usually distinct and sounded as loud as the rest but it appeared to carry less 
well and at a distance the advertising coo often sounded four-syllabled. One 
bird (only) omitted the first note on two occasions. It would, therefore, be 
unsafe to assume that the number of syllables in the advertising coo could 
alone distinguish this species from the related Ruddy Pigeon C. subvinacea, 
whose advertising coo is described as four-syllabled (Skutch 1964). 

As with other pigeons, there were individual differences in the advertising 
coo that were usually only just noticeable when two birds were repeatedly 
calling in sequence. Two individuals, however, habitually uttered more 
noticeably divergent advertising coos: one had a hoarse tone in the final 
"56" of the phrase, the other considerably lengthened and upwardly stressed 
the final note. 



Copy of a sound spectograph, made by Dr. D. W. Snow, of the advertising coo of a 
Plumbeous Pigeon at Serra dos Orgaos. 

104 



The advertising coo of the Plumbeous Pigeon appeared to be given in 
situations comparable to those of other species (Goodwin 1956a, 1970). It 
was heard most often from a single bird perched alone in a tree, sometimes 
on a bare or partly bare terminal branch and sometimes within the canopy. 
Twice it was heard from individuals whose presumed mates were perched 
within a few feet of them and once from a bird sitting side by side with its 
mate, in physical contact. It was once heard given as an apparent contact 
call between two paired or pairing birds, and I noticed that the presumed 
female's calls did not sound less loud or less musical than the presumed 
male's. 

A single "croorr", with a purring or snoring tone and very variable in 
loudness, was frequently heard but usually from birds that were out of sight. 
One bird, seen at close quarters, spent about ten minutes preening, then 
looked suddenly alert, uttered this call, gave it again about six seconds later 
and then started to utter the advertising coo. After a session of cooing it 
again preened, then flew to another perch nearby, gave the purring "croorr" 
twice, as before, and then again started giving the advertising coo. Later 
another individual uttered loud, repeated "croorrs", interspersed with 
advertising coos. When I had got within sight of it, I saw the bird was alone 
on its perch. It then took wing, performed a display flight, and alighted 
elsewhere. 

On the morning of 1 ith November, at Boraceia, a Plumbeous Pigeon, "A", 
was heard giving the advertising coo from its perch at the top of a dead tree 
in dense hill forest; a second bird ,"B", appeared to be answering it with the 
same call from a large, bromeliad-covered tree about 400 yards away on the 
opposite slope (I was on a path between them). After about a minute, "A" 
flew and alighted on a mass of epiphytic growth on a bare tree top about 50 
yards from the tree in which "B" was calling. As soon as "A" alighted there, 
"B" began to utter the purring "croorr" note almost continuously. At 
intervals, for about seven minutes, "A" gave advertising coos and "B" 
uttered the purring calls, only breaking off on four occasions to give an 
advertising coo. Twice when it did so it omitted the first syllable of the 
phrase; there was no doubt about this as on the other two occasions when 
the "normal" advertising coo was uttered, the first note was loud and clear. 

Then "A" flew to "B", or at least to "B"s close vicinity (I could not 
see them), and at once there were emphatic, repeated purring calls but no 
sound of fighting. It seemed therefore most likely that "A" had joined a mate 
or prospective mate on a potential nest site and that, as well as being used as 
an alternative advertising coo, the purring or snoring "croorr" is also the 
nest call. In at least two other pigeons, the Diamond Dove Geopelia cuneata, 
and the Picazuro Pigeon Columba pica^uro, a call with a snoring or growling 
tone is used in both these contexts (Goodwin 1964, 1970). 

Some behaviour patterns : The display flight was seen only twice, although I 
think that under comparable conditions it would have been seen very many 
times from any of the European species of Columba or Streptopelia. I saw it 
first from a bird that for the previous 27 minutes had been perched on a bare 
terminal bough, uttering the advertising coo at the usual intervals. It sud- 
denly sleeked down its plumage, looked alertly about, then towered up at a 
steep angle in flapping flight, flattened out and flew at a slight downwards 
incline to another perch about 300 yards away, where it soon started calling 
again. The second display flight, seen from a bird (mentioned above) that 
had been uttering both the advertising coo and the purring call, was similar. 

105 



In neither case were there audible wing claps, such as occur in high intensity 
display flights of all other pigeon species whose display flights are known to 
me. Possibly these two display flights of C. plumbea that I saw were at low 
intensity but I had the impression that the situation was rather that in this 
species the threshold for performing the display flight was relatively high. 
It seems possible that this species may, in an evolutionary sense, be in process 
of losing this display. 





i. Plumbeous Pigeon giving adver- 
tising coo. 



Plumbeous Pigeon in head back 
phase of the flight-intention 
movement. 




Plumbeous Pigeon parading. 



4. Rufous Pigeon nodding. 



When making flight-intention movements the Plumbeous Pigeon pulls its 
head far back onto its shoulders and then throws it forward with a rather 
circular motion. The movement is very similar to that of the Grey-fronted 
Dove Leptotila ruf axilla, and the White-bellied Dove L.jarnaicensis, and (if I 
recall it rightly) identical to that of the Picazuro Pigeon. When a Plumbeous 
Pigeon was alarmed by the sudden swooping of some swifts Strep toprocne sp., 
high overhead, it "froze" in the head-back first phase of this movement. 

A Plumbeous Pigeon that was, I think, in sight of another (which I was 
unable to see until I later flushed it) paraded in much the same manner as the 
Picazuro Pigeon (Goodwin 1964), striding to and fro on a horizontal bough 
with head lowered and rump feathers erected. 

106 



Preening and sunbathing movements were identical to those of other 
pigeons known to me. One bird, that was watched from above as it preened, 
sometimes had the rump feathers fully erected but the upper tail coverts 
quite flat. The uropygial gland was not thereby exposed as it is in comparable 
postures of gamebirds and passerines. I have not seen any pigeon make use of 
this gland when preening, as gamebirds, waterfowl and passerines so con- 
spicuously do, although some have claimed that C. livia sometimes does so. 



THE RUFOUS PIGEON 

Observations on the male in the Belem Zoo were made for short periods 
several times from 18th to 25 th November. The bird was in good condition, 
very tame, and quite unafraid of being watched. The only other pigeons in the 
large aviary were a number of Grey-fronted Doves. The Rufous Pigeon made 
frequent sexual approaches to these but met with indifference or avoidance 
from most and active aggression from one of them. 

Voice: I transcribed the advertising coo as (i oo-6o, cook-cook, 66-66". 
It was usually repeated from two to five times. The two shorter notes were 
always interspersed by only two longer ones; thus, if given twice the phrase 
would go "66-66, cook-cook, 66-66, cook-cook, 66-66". The bird in- 
variably began and ended with two long notes. If allowance is made for 
slight differences of interpretation this transcription agrees well enough with 
those of Skutch (1964) and Belcher & Smooker (1936). 

A single, purring or snoring "croorr", very similar to that of the Plumbeous 
Pigeon, was sometimes given after or in intervals between uttering the ad- 
vertising coo. The display coo was a single slightly purring "coor", re- 
peated at each bow. 

Some behaviour patterns : The bowing display was seen on only one occasion. 
It consisted of a deep bow, repeated several times. The bird's head came to 
the level of, or possibly a little below the rather narrow metal rod on which 
it was perching. His tail went up as he bowed but both Dr. Snow and I had 
the impression that this was probably a compensatory balancing movement 
rather than an integral part of the display. The Rufous Pigeon was almost 
sideways on to and only slightly turned towards the Grey-fronted Dove to 
which he was displaying, but it is quite likely that the narrow perch prevented 
a more frontal display. 

What was obviously friendly nodding (Goodwin 1956b) was shown to- 
wards Grey-fronted Doves whenever one of the latter came within about 
four or five feet of the Rufous Pigeon. It was similar to the nodding of many 
old world Columba species except that the neck seemed to be thrown more 
forward at the start of the movement. At the culmination of each nod the bill 
was at an angle of about 40 to 45 degrees from the substrate. 

Wing ruffling occurred suddenly between bouts of nodding. As with C. 
pica^uro (Goodwin 1964) and the White-crowned Pigeon C. leucocephaia, it 
consisted of holding the slightly unfolded wings out from the body and 
making a quick vibrating movement with them, which produced a sharp 
rustling sound. This movement has also been recorded for the Spotted 
Pigeon C. maculosa (Russell 191 3). 

The flight-intention movements were like those of C. plumbea except for 
being more leisurely. This difference was, I think, solely due to the fact that 
this Rufous Pigeon was only seen to give them when he was clearly not in 
the least afraid. 

107 



SUMMARY 

Some calls and behaviour patterns of the Plumbeous and Rufous Pigeons 
are described. Both utter a call which is alike in the two species and similar 
to a probably homologous call of the Picazuro Pigeon. The flight intention 
movements of these three species are also closely similar, possibly identical. 
The Rufous Pigeon has a wing ruffling movement similar to those of the 
Picazuro and White-crowned Pigeons. 

References : 

Belcher, C. & Smooker, G. D. 1936. Birds of the Colony of Trinidad and Tobago. Part III. 

Ibis (6)13: 1-35. 
Goodwin, D. 1956a. Observations on the voice and some displays of certain pigeons. 

Avicult. Mag. 62: 17-23, 62-70. 

— 1956b. The significance of some behaviour patterns of pigeons. Bird Study 3: 25-37. 

— 1964. Some calls and displays of the Picazuro Pigeon. Condor 66: 418-422. 

— 1970. Pigeons and doves of the world. 2nd ed. London: Brit. Mus. (Nat. Hist.). 

Russell, W. S. H. (Marquess of Tavistock). 1913. Foreign doves at liberty. Avicult. Mag. 

(5)3: 123-132. 
Skutch, A. F. 1964. Life histories of Central American pigeons. Wilson Bull. 76: 211-247. 



The breeding of the Madagascar Banded Kestrel 

by J. F. R. Colebrook- Robjent 

Received 2jth May, 1973 
The Banded Kestrel Falco ^oniventris is confined to Madagascar. There are five 
Falco species on the island of which three are residents ; the other two breed- 
ing falcons are F. n. newtoni and F. peregrinus radama. The Banded Kestrel is 
stated by Rand (1936) to be distributed from sea level to 1,000 m in the 
forests of the Humid East, etc. "About Maroantsetra and Andapa (i.e. in the 
north-east of Madagascar) it was fairly common, but was rare elsewhere". 
Brown & Amadon (1968) summarise what little is known about this falcon, 
and state under breeding habits that nothing is recorded. The following is 
taken from my notes made during a recent seven-week trip to Madagascar. 
However, the period covered by this paper is from 5th to 26th September 
1972 when I was in the northern Humid East. 

Locality, Altitude and Habitat: The area is the Manantenina River system. 
From the Bekuna Stream, outside the eastern boundary of the Reserve 
Naturelle de Marojejy, the valley follows the Bangwabe which runs into the 
Manantenina River near Mandeny Village. The village of Manantenina is 
situated where the river of that name joins the Lokoho, about three miles down 
river from Mandeny. This area lies in the Prefecture of Sambava, Province 
of Diego Suarez, and is 50 to 100 metres a.s.l. The valley bottom is mostly 
cultivated with vanilla, coffee, rice, bananas, and coconuts, interspersed with 
second-growth and strips of remnant forest. The crests of the flanking ridges 
are still partially covered with degraded rain forest. 

General: This falcon is usually referred to as a kestrel and its nearest 
relatives are assumed to be the aberrant kestrels F. dickinsoni and F. ardosiaceus, 
both of Africa (Brown & Amadon 1968). The same authorities, following 
Swann (1924-1936), state that this species is uncommon. But Rand's quoted 
statement more accurately reflects the status of this bird in the Manantenina 
area. The Banded Kestrel was certainly "fairly common" in this valley, the 
Madagascar Kestrel F. newtoni being very common. It was never seen to 

108 



hover (it apparently does so rarely), but neither was the more "typical" 
kestrel newtoni ever seen to hover. As Rand states, it remains perched on dead 
branches for long periods. 

Voice: "A sharp scream and a chattering 'kek-kek-kek'" (Brown & 
Amadon). In my experience it gave a low call or was often silent, but as it 
often perched in trees above running water it is possible that its call was not 
heard on some occasions. I was watching a pair of these falcons on 6th 
September at Manantenina. They were feeding on small reptiles (probably 
chameleons) on the exposed bare branches of A.lbi%pja trees. After picking 
off some small prey from a branch one of these birds uttered a faint "tck-tck- 
tck-tck-tck" opening its mouth wide as it did so, each note being rendered at 
intervals of more than a second. I then lost sight of the bird, but could still 
hear it "tcking". I eventually spotted the bird again. It had entered a thickly 
foliaged large tree, still "tcking", and was making its way slowly down 
towards a large basin-shaped epiphyte growing on a lateral branch. It then 
dropped down into the centre of the epiphyte and briefly shuffled about 
before hopping out and starting again to "tck". It then repeated the per- 
formance over again. See also under Breeding. 

Food: Brown & Amadon noted that the principal food items are insects 
and small reptiles (including chameleons) and also some birds, the former 
being taken both on the ground and in vegetation. All certainly identified 
prey noted by me was chameleons taken from trees. In the crop of one speci- 
men collected was a small chameleon in six pieces ; in the stomach were the 
remains of another chameleon. All prey was collected from vegetation, 
usually high up on the upper branches of bare Albi^ia or other leafy trees. 
This falcon has acute eye-sight. After perching immobile for some time they 
suddenly take off with a rapid flight and swoop up into the foliage of trees 
200 or more metres away and return with a chameleon. Once a bird plunged 
perhaps 100 metres into very thick-foliaged rain forest appearing seconds 
later with its usual prey. Unlike most falcons, the Banded frequently enters 
thick vegetation. Chameleons are placed securely in a small fork of a branch 
the head being eaten first. If caught by the male the remainder of the prey is 
then frequently offered to the female who eats it from the neck to the tail. 
Fifteen minutes or more is taken to finish one chameleon, after which the 
bird remains perched for perhaps 20 minutes with only the occasional slight 
digestive head-bobbing. 

Breeding: As stated earlier nothing has been recorded. F. dickinsoni breeds 
usually in Boras sus and other palms, sometimes in the domed nests of the 
Hamerkop Scopus umbretta, and once in a hole in an iron bridge (Brooke & 
Howells 1 971). F. ardosiaceus commonly utilises Hamerkop's nests, also old 
nests of other birds and holes in trees (Brown & Amadon). 

Although the Hamerkop is common in Madagascar, I did not see these 
birds or their conspicuous nests in the Manantenina-Marojejy area. After 
witnessing the remarkable behaviour previously noted (see Voice) I sus- 
pected that epiphytes (which were very common) would be used by <%oniventris 
for breeding, but it was not until 24th September that this was proved to be 
the case. 

On that date I was investigating the nest-hole of a pp.tr of Madagascar 
Kestrels in a copse of remnant (degraded) forest near the Bangwabe River. 
A Banded Kestrel was seen to be perched high up on a dead tree at the edge 
of forest on a nearby ridge. I had taken the precaution of posting a boy as a 
look-out while I was engaged in climbing to the newtoni nest. After changing 
its perch twice the boy signalled that the falcon was heading towards me. It 

109 



flew swiftly and low towards the copse, entering very low and suddenly 
swooping up into the fork of a large and tall forest tree. It immediately 
disappeared from sight in a large epiphyte. Unseen by me there was a second 
bird already there and in less than a minute one of these falcons left the tree, 
stooping in a low, circular dive and out of sight. Soon after, the remaining 
bird (which was the female) dived off the epiphyte and swooped up to the 
upper bare branches of another tree. This bird was then promptly offered a 
small chameleon by the male which suddenly appeared with it. The birds 
remained close together for a while when the male, without apparent 
warning and with quivering wings, mounted the female for over five 
seconds. During the act the female kept up a not very audible but high- 
pitched "kik-kik-kik". After this the male flew off, directly over me (I was 
not hidden), twisting away in characteristic rapid flight. It was seen to catch 
another chameleon and settle inconspicuously in a nearby leafy tree. 

Fifteen minutes later, the female returned to the epiphyte, standing in full 
view in the middle of it and then slowly disappearing inside. I climbed up a 
nearby tree and was able to look down into the epiphyte. The falcon then 
stood up and departed revealing a fairly deep empty scrape at one side of the 
bare, earthy interior. 

The following day I returned to the copse. At mid-day one of the Mada- 
gascar Kestrels flew to the Banded Kestrels' nest site, but was quickly chased 
off by the female Banded which had been perched unseen nearby. The 
Banded then settled on the epiphyte and rotated several times on the scrape. 
It was also seen to peck about rather lethargically in the area of the scrape. 
Most of the time it simply crouched or stood up in the interior or outside on 
the leaves of the parasitic plant. About 30 minutes later the female flew off 
and did not return for over an hour. One of the pair was later seen soaring 
over the site, in bright sunlight, rather quickly in broad circles. This was 
probably a form of display as it is quite uncharacteristic of normal behaviour. 
From below the body appeared dark as did the under wing coverts; con- 
trasting with the pale brown and faintly barred primaries and heavily barred 
tail. 

Later, in the same afternoon, a second nest site further up river was 
investigated. This had been found by Michel Rakotonirina, my interpreter, 
earlier that morning. This site was a broad epiphyte 13 metres up on the 
trunk of a large forest tree standing almost alone in a line of trees and bushes 
along a stream running into the Bangwabe. As we approached the male was 
seen perched nearby on a branch of a dead tree. Although I had frequently 
used a nearby track I had only once before noted a Banded Kestrel in this 
area. Rakotonirina reported seeing one of these birds fly to the epiphyte and 
later leave it to alight on the nearby dead tree where mating took place. 

One of my Malgache guides then climbed the tree. As he was about to 
reach the epiphyte the falcon rather slowly hopped out onto the first branch 
and flew off without a protest. The climber reported a shallow empty scrape 
in the centre of the epiphyte. 

In the case of a third record, no precise nest site was located before I had 
to leave the area on 26th September. On that date a male Banded Kestrel 
was seen perched on the bare upper branches of an Albi^ia just above the 
path leading to (and just outside) the village of Manantenina. This area is less 
than 100 metres from where the incident described under Voice took place. 
However, the falcons had not been seen again in the former area. There is no 
true forest here, but a few large trees (mostly Albi^id) stand about the 
vanilla and coffee plantations. As I watched, the male was joined by the larger 



female when she was presented with a chameleon and soon after mounted 
for less than five seconds. This female was later collected and proved to be in 
breeding condition. The oviduct appeared to be swollen, the largest ovum 
measuring 9 mm. 

From the foregoing it would appear that clutches would not be completed 
before the end of September or early October. 

Epilogue: On 23rd October the tree at the second site was climbed by the 
same Malgache guide as before. The nest then held three eggs of which two 
were broken; all heavily incubated. Hery Christophe, the Forest Guard, 
forwarded the remaining egg to me. It is yellowish, rather evenly speckled 
and stippled with light yellowish-brown, the markings tending to be darker 
brown on the broader end. The dull and yellowish markings are probably 
due to the length of incubation. The egg measures 42-8 x 33-7 mm. The 
average of 48 eggs of the much smaller F. newtoni is given as 35 -8 x 28-8 
mm (Brown & Amadon). 

Summary: Three pairs of the Madagascar Banded Kestrel Falco ^oniventris 
were studied in north-east Madagascar during two weeks in September. Pre- 
egg-laying behaviour and nesting sites are recorded for the first time, 
together with the first known egg of this falcon. 

Acknowledgements : My thanks are primarily due to Professor Charles Sibley, 
of Yale University, for enabling me to visit Madagascar and for many other 
kindnesses, not least for criticizing a preliminary draft of this paper. I was 
helped in the field by Jali Makawa (a wonderful companion), Michel Rako- 
tonirina (my interpreter) and Hery Christophe (and his two able assistants, 
Robeson and Tizzy Antoin, who collected the egg of the Banded Kestrel). 
Others who have helped in several ways are C. W. Benson, R. J. Dowsett, 
P. Griveaud, and R. WagstafTe. J. M. Andriamampianina, Chef des Eaux et 
Forets, was particularly helpful in granting permits and in many other ways. 

References : 

Brooke, R. K. & Howells, W. W. 1971. Falcons at Birchenough Bridge, Rhodesia. Ostrich 

42: 142-143. 
Brown, L. H. & Amadon, D. 1968. Eagles, hawks and falcons of the world. London: Country 

Life Books. 
Rand, A. L. 1936. The distribution and habits of Madagascar birds. Bull. Amer. Mus. 

Nat. Hist. 72(5): 143-499. 
Swann, H. K. 1924-36. Monograph of the birds of prey. London: Wheldon & Wesley. 

A review of the Boat-billed Heron Cochlearius cochlearius 
by Robert W. Dickerman 

Received 29th March, 19J3 
The relationship of the Boat-billed Heron Cochlearius cochlearius at the sub- 
familial, familial and tribal levels within the order Ciconiiformes has recently 
been discussed by Bock (1956), Cracraft (1967) and Dickerman (1971), but 
the subspecific variation within the species has not been reviewed since the 
description of C. c. panamensis Griscom (1926). During the course of investi- 
gations on the possible role of birds in the ecology of arboviruses in Mexico 
and Guatemala, and on the nesting biology of Cochlearius in Mexico (Dicker- 
man & Juarez 1971 ; Juarez & Dickerman 1972), series of Boat-billed Herons 
have been collected that, together with the limited amount of material already 
available in museum collections, have permitted this review of the Mexican 
and Central American populations. Measurements were recorded to the 
nearest millimetre (Table). 




FIGURE 

Distribution of the races of Cochlearius cochlearius in Mexico and Central America. Open 
squares, ^eledoni; circles, phillipsi; triangles, ridgwqyi (open triangles, localities reported in 
Dickey & Van Rossem 1938); squares, panamensis; hexagon cochlearius. Localities with 
vertical lines are type localities. Hatched region represents intergrade zone panamensis X 
ridgwqyi. 

TABLE 

Measurements in millimetres of adult Boat-billed Herons from Central America, with mean 

and standard deviation 

Males 



East Coast Mexico 



West Coast Mexico S. to 
Isthmus of Tehuantepec 

Pacific coastal Chiapas (Mexico), 
Guatemala and Honduras 



East Coast Mexico 



West Coast Mexico S. to 
Isthmus of Tehuantepec 

Pacific coastal Chiapas (Mexico), 
Guatemala and Honduras 



wing chord 

265-296 (281-9) 
SD 7-8n=28 

259-273 (269-6) 
SD3-3n=14 

262-283 (271-5) 
SD 6-6 n=16 



268-281 (274-7) 
SD4-5n=15 

258-273 (264-6) 
SD4-4n=10 

255-274(268-3) 
SD6-9n=14 



tail 

110-122(114-8) 
SD3-5n=28 

102-110 (106-6) 
SD2-2n=14 

105-114(110-1) 
SD 3-3 n= 16 



72-87 (79-9) 
SD3-2n=29 

71-83(79-4) 
SD3-0n=16 

71-83 (79-2) 
SD3-1 n=14 



Females 



108-116 (111-8) 
SD2-5n=16 

100-107 (104-0) 
SD 3-4n=10 

105-116 (109-4) 
SD3-0n=19 



71-81 (74-7) 
SD2-6n = 15 

73-78 (75-4) 
SD 1-9 n=10 

66-78 (73-1) 
SD 3-2n=14 



exposed culmen 

78-92 (85-2) 
SD3-3n=29 

78-88 (83-7) 
SD2-8n=16 

78-87 (83-6) 
SD3-9n=14 



72-84 (78-2) 
SD3-9n=16 

76-82(78-6) 
SD l-8n=10 

72-81 (76-7) 
SD2-7n=14 



Cochlearius cochlearius ^eledoni 

Cancroma ^eledoni Ridgway (1885). Type locality, Mazatlan, State of 
Sinaloa, Mexico. 

Diagnosis: Pale "lavender" grey dorsally, forehead usually whitish, washed 
with pale-grey or buff: wing and tail shorter than in the birds of the Gulf 
coastal lowlands of Mexico. 

Range: Pacific coastal areas of Mexico from Mazatlan, Sinaloa, south at 
least to the Rio Papagallo, Guerrero (see Figure). 



Cochlearius cochlearius phillipsi new subspecies 

Type: Adult male no. 803,080 American Museum of Natural History, 
collected ca. eight km east of Atasta, State of Campeche, Mexico, 13 th Feb- 
ruary 1966 by Robert W. Dickerman (original field number RWD 13,677). 
Testes 27 x 13 and 23 x 13 mm. 

Diagnosis: Similar to ^eledoni but much larger (Table); paler on chest and 
sides of neck than the population of the Pacific lowlands of Chiapas and 
Central America. 

Range: Gulf and Caribbean coastal zone of Mexico from La Pesca, State 
of Tamaulipas, south to Belize. Probably intergrades with the next form in 
the Caribbean lowlands of Guatemala from whence no material is available. 

It is a pleasure to name this form in honour of Dr. Allan R. Phillips who is 
so generous in sharing with others his knowledge of the Mexican avifauna. 

Cochlearius cochlearius ridgivayi new subspecies 

Type: Adult male no. 134, 122 Carnegie Museum, collected at Coyoles, 
Department of Yoro, Honduras, on 17th June 1950 by Arthur C. Twomey 
and Roland W. Hawkins (original field number 14,293). Noted as "breeding", 
"TGE" (testes greatly enlarged). 

Diagnosis: Similar dorsally to ^eledoni but breast a richer, deeper, vinaceous ; 
much paler throughout than panamensis. Averages smaller than phillipsi but 
larger than ^eledoni. The breeding birds of the Pacific coastal area of Chiapas 
(and those of adjacent Guatemala), while showing the subspecific characters, 
average slightly paler than Honduras specimens. 

Range: Pacific coastal areas of State of Chiapas, Mexico; Guatemala; and at 
least the Caribbean lowlands of Honduras. The range of ridgivayi is disjunct 
from the southern part of the range of ^eledoni by approximately 450 km in 
the Isthmus of Tehuantepec region. On the Caribbean lowlands there is a 
sharply-stepped cline between Belize and the type locality of ridgivayi. Un- 
fortunately no adult specimens are available from the intervening coastal 
region of Guatemala. Locality records for El Salvador from whence no 
specimens were examined are taken from Dickey & Van Rossem (1938). 

This form is named with respect for Mr. Robert Ridgway whose works 
form the backbone of American ornithology. 

Cochlearius cochlearius panamensis 

Cochlearius cochlearius panamensis Griscom (1926), type locality Corozal, 
Canal Zone. 

Diagnosis: Much darker, more olive above than the clear grey of the 
northern races ; also more olive, less vinaceous, on sides of neck. 

Range: Costa Rica: Boca Rio Matima, Limon, Boca Mala, Puntarenas 
(Hellmayr & Conover 1948); intergrades with ridgivayi in Guanacaste. 
Panama: throughout Republic except southwestern Darien (Wetmore 1965). 

Unfortunately this form is exceedingly poorly represented in collections. 
I have seen only six specimens that I consider to be adult. 

Cochlearius cochlearius cochlearius 

Cancroma Cochlearius Linnaeus (1766), type locality Cayenne. 

Diagnosis: Adult, very much paler grey dorsally and on sides of neck, 
upper breast and all of foreneck pure white. Immature, back and wing 
coverts richer cinnamon than Central American forms. 

113 



Range: South America in suitable habitat from extreme southern Panama 
south to northern Argentina. 

To date I have not studied South American specimens of the Boat-billed 
Heron and follow other authors in considering them all to represent the 
nominate form. 

AC KNOWLEDGEMENTS 

The author wishes to acknowledge the authorities of Mexico, Guatemala 
and Costa Rica for scientific permits to collect birds in their respective 
Republics. Specimens collected in Costa Rica were taken during field exer- 
cises with the Organization of Tropical Studies. Curators of the following 
collections kindly loaned material or provided access to collections in their 
care: American Museum of Natural History; Carnegie Museum; Museum of 
Zoology, Louisiana State University; Museum of Comparative Zoology 
(Harvard) ; Robert T. Moore Collection (Occidental College) ; United States 
National Museum; and the Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology. The 
research was supported in part by U.S. Public Health Service Research Grant 
AI-6248 from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. 

Dr. Kenneth C. Parkes kindly reviewed the manuscript, and his suggestions 
have been incorporated in the paper. 

References : 

Bock, W. J. 1956. A generic review of the family Ardeidae (Aves). Amer. Mus. Novit. 1779. 
Cracraft, J., 1957. On the systematics of the Boat-billed Heron. Auk 84: 529-533. 
Dickerman, R. W. 1971. Systematic position of the Boat-billed Heron, in Dickerman, 

R. W. & Juarez (1971). 
Dickerman, R. W. & Juarez, L., C. 1971. Nesting studies of the Boat-billed Heron, Coch- 
lear ius cochlear ius at San Bias, Nayarit, Mexico. Ardea 59: 1-16. 
Dickey, D. R. & Van Rossem, A. J. 1938. The birds of El Salvador. Zool. Series, Field 

Mus. Nat. Hist. 23. 
Griscom, L. 1926. Ornithological results of the Mason-Spinden expedition to the Yucatan. 

I. Introduction, birds of the mainland of eastern Yucatan. Amer. Mus. Novit. 235. 
Hellmayr, C. E. & Conover, B. 1948. Catalogue of birds of the Americas. Zool. Series, 

Field Mus. Nat. Hist. 8, part 1, no. 2. 
Juarez, L., C. & Dickerman, R. W. 1972. Nestling development of Boat-billed Herons 

{Cochlearius cochlearius) at San Bias, Nayarit, Mexico. Wilson Bull. 84: 456-468. 
Linnaeus, C. 1766. Sy sterna naturae. Ed. 12(1): 233. 
Ridgway, R. 1885. Description of a new species of Boat-billed Heron from Central America. 

Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus. 8 : 93-99. 
Wetmore, A. 1965. The birds of the Republic of Panama. I. Tinamidae (Tinamous) to 

Rhynchopidae (Skimmers). Smiths. Misc. Coll. 150. 



Composite nest of Short-crested Flycatcher 
Myiarchus ferox 
by P. J. K. Burton 

Received yth May, 1973 

During January to April 1972, I accompanied the British-Trans Americas 
Expedition on its vehicle crossing of the Darien Gap (Eastern Panama and 
North-western Colombia). On 26th March, I was at La Lomas de Rumie, a 
spur of high ground jutting out into the Atrato swamp near the Rio Perancho. 
Walking along an isolated rough road bordering the swamp, I observed a 
Short-crested Flycatcher Myiarchus ferox carrying nest material. Through 
watching the bird, I quickly located the nest which was about 12 feet above 

114 



the ground in a crevice of a low cliff flanking the road on one side. By scram- 
bling up, I was able to inspect the nest site, and was surprised to find a 
composite structure containing three nest cups. One of these held four eggs, 
one held one &gg, and the third appeared to be still under construction. The 
whole structure was composed largely of mammal fur, with snakeskin around 
the edges of the cups. Apparently only one bird was visiting it. This was 
eventually collected, and proved to be a female inbreeding condition, though 
with no egg in the oviduct. The composite nest and eggs were also collected. 
During a fall three of the eggs were broken. However, these, as well as the 
two surviving eggs (both from the c/4) were all fresh and unincubated. Bird, 
eggs and nest are now in the collections of the British Museum (Natural 
History). 

The genera Myiarchus and Myiodynastes are known to lay somewhat larger 
clutches than the majority of tropical Tyrannidae, a fact which has been linked 
with their hole-nesting habits by Lack (1968: 174). However, a composite 
nest of this type must surely be exceptional ; it is unfortunate that it was not 
possible in the available time to discover how many birds were involved. 

Reference : 

Lack, D. 1968. Ecological adaptations for breeding in birds. London: Methuen. 



Re-identification of Kallus pectoralis deignani 
by S. Dillon Ripley & Storrs L. Olson 

Received 16th May, 1973 

The description of the race Rallus pectoralis deignani (Ripley, 1970, Nat. Hist. 
Bull. Siam Soc. 23: 367-368) from Celebes was of particular interest as the 
species pectoralis was not previously known from that island and because 
deignani was subsequently cited as providing a link between Rallus pectoralis 
of Flores, New Guinea, and Australia, and R. mirificus of Luzon (Mayr, 1971, 
Journ. Ornith. 112: 302-316). In our independent studies of the Rallidae, we 
have had cause to re-examine the type and only specimen of deignani and fear 
that we must report that it is actually an aberrant individual of Rallus 
striatus — a species already known from Celebes. 

As was noted in the original description, the type of deignani differs from 
normal striatus in lacking the white barring in the primaries that is charac- 
teristic of that species, and in this respect it does resemble pectoralis. However, 
the degree of this barring is quite variable in striatus and the bars may be 
broad, narrow, or sometimes reduced to disconnected spots. In one specimen 
from Ceylon examined by Olson (American Museum of Natural History No. 
545053), the barring was almost absent. The type of deignani, which is an 
immature, thus represents an extreme in this occasional trend towards the 
reduction of barring. It does preserve, however, the regularly spaced white 
bars in the outer web of the outermost primary, which are typical of striatus 
(in pectoralis the white markings on the outer web of the outer primary are 
thin, irregularly spaced spots along the very edge). The specimen is larger 
than most subspecies of pectoralis, except the nominate Australian form, and 
has a stouter bill and somewhat more extensive white dorsal spotting than 
pectoralis. In these respects it also agrees with striatus. Rallus pectoralis deignani 
thus becomes a synonym of Rallus striatus striatus Linnaeus and the species 
pectoralis must be removed from the Celebes list. 

115 



Migrant Perm's apivorus in the Indonesian Archipelago 

by C. M. N. White 

Received 4th June, 1973 

Vaurie (1965 : 147-149) treats the west palearctic Perms apivorus, which win- 
ters in Africa, and the east palearctic and tropical Asian P. ptilorhynchus as 
separate species, thus following Stresemann (1940, Archiv. f. Naturgesch. 9: 
137-193). Brown & Amadon (1968: 220-227) treat these taxa as conspecific. 
The latter are followed here. Finsch (1901, Notes Ley den Mus. 22: 241) listed 
an immature collected by Schadler on 8th December 1897 at Kisar, an island 
east of Timor, as P. ptilorhynchus. The specimen is still in the Leiden Museum, 
and Dr. G. F. Mees reports that it agrees with immatures of east palearctic 
orientaiis wintering in Java. This record has been ignored in statements of the 
winter range of orientaiis in recent literature, and probably since Finsch 
published the original record. It extends the winter range of this form, at 
least casually, far to the east, and indicates that casual migrants might even 
reach north-west Australia. 

Hartert (1896, Nov. Zool. 3: 177) also reported Pernis sp. from Saleyer, 
south of the Celebes, a female with a moulting wing measuring 440 mm, 
which he thought agreed with Malaysian ptilorhynchus. It is certainly much 
too large for the Celebes species, P. celebensis. Stresemann (op. cit.) identified 
it as orientaiis but otherwise the record has been ignored. These records from 
Saleyer and Kisar bring migrant Eurasian honey buzzards east of Wallace's 
Line, and add another species to the comparatively few palearctic migrants 
east of that line (my tentative total of traced species is only 78). 

Dr. G. F. Mees of the Rijksmuseum van Natuurlijke Historie, Leiden, 
Netherlands, has kindly verified the details of the Kisar bird, and incidentally 
pointed out the Saleyer record again. I am most grateful to him. 

References : 

Brown, L. & Amadon, D. 1968. Eagles, hawks and falcons of the world. London: Country Life 

Books. 
Vaurie, C. 1965. The birds of the palearctic fauna. Non-passeriformes. London: H. F. & G. 

Witherby. 



Non-passerine bird weights from Panama and Colombia 

by P. J. K. Burton 

Received yth May, 1973 

Several recent papers (e.g. Britton 1970; Colston 1971, 1972) have supplied 
weight data for a wide range of African birds, but comparatively little has 
been published on the weights of neotropical birds. The best source is 
probably Haverschmidt (1968), though Collins (1972) has provided some data 
from Venezuela, and Snow & Snow (1963) from Trinidad. This paper 
presents the weights of non-passerine birds collected during the Darien phase 
of the British Trans- Americas Expedition, 197 1-2, and follows the same 
format as Colston (1971, 1972). The specimens were all preserved in fluid as 
anatomical material, and most are now in the collections of the British 
Museum (Natural History); some were given to the Gorgas Memorial 
Laboratory, Panama City. Since most of the birds have been preserved intact, 
sex is given only for species showing clear cut sexual differences in external 
features. A number of specimens have, however, been made into skeletons, 

116 



and these have been sexed by dissection; this is indicated in the text. All 
weights were taken immediately after death using Pesola balances, and all are 
given in grammes. Nomenclature follows Wetmore (1965, 1968); some 
taxonomic problems are noted in the text. A few of the birds included here 
are wintering nearctic species. In all, 163 weights of 79 species are listed. 
A future paper will present similar data for the passerines collected. 

Co-ordinates for the localities mentioned are as follows: C.I.M. (Military 
Instruction Centre, near Pacora), 9 8' N., 79 15' W. ; Rio Espave (Bayano 
Valley), 9 1 5 ' N., 78 45 ' W. ; La Palma, 8° 24' N., 78 9' W. ; Jaque, 7 29' N., 
78 i W.; Rio Jaque, 7 30' N., 78 5' W.; El Real, 8° 7' N., 77 45' W.; 
Pinogana (Rio Tuira), 8° 8' N., 77 39' W.; Boca de Paya (Rio Tuira), 
7 56' N., 77 32' W.; Rio Paya, approximately 7 56' N., 77 27' W.; Cerro 
Pirre, 7 5 7' N., 77 45 ' W. ; Sautata (lower Atrato valley), 7 5 1 ' N., 77 8' W. ; 
Cienagas de Tumarado (Atrato swamp), approximately 7 50' N., 76 5 8' W. ; 
Rio Perancho (Atrato swamp), approx. 7 43' N., 77 10' W. The three last 
localities are in Colombia, the remainder in Panama. 

Podilymbus podiceps: 300, Rio Jaque, February. 

Podiceps dominkus: 126, Rio Perancho, March. 

Anhinga anhinga: $ (diss.) 1,500, Cienagas de Tumarado, March. 

Butorides virescens: 205, Jaque, February. 

Florida caerulea: 400, Rio Jaque, February. 

Hydranassa tricolor: 335, La Palma, February. 

Nyctanassa violacea: 635, 670, 680, 685, 710, La Palma, February. 

Tigrisoma Hneatum: 815, Rio Paya, February; 755, imm. 725, El Real, March 

S ar cor amphus papa: 3,200, Boca de Paya, February. 

Coragyps atratus: 1,700, Pinogana, February. 

Cathartes aura: 1,400, Rio Espave, January. 

Elanoides forficatus: 420, Rio Perancho, March. 

Rostrhamus sociabilis: imms. 340, 365, 370, Cienagas de Tumarado (1) and Rio Perancho 
(2), March. 

Buteo platypterus : imm. 350, Rio Espave, January. 

Buteo magnirostris: 253, 265, 247, El Real, February/March; 242, 278, Boca de Paya, 
February. 

Busarellus nigricollis: 975, Rio Perancho, January. 

Buteogallus urubitinga: imm. 1,200, Rio Paya, February. 

Buteogallus anthracinus : 1,200, Boca de Paya, February. This bird belongs to the larger 
nominate race. The race B. a. bangs'^ together with other smaller forms charac- 
teristic of Pacific coastal mangroves, may be separable as a distinct species, B. 
subtilis (see discussion in Wetmore 1965). 

Herpetotheres cachinnans: 575, Boca de Paya, February. 

Milvago chimachima: 395, Rio Perancho; 365, Sautata, March. 

Daptrius americamts: 490, Boca de Paya, February; 505, Cerro Pirre, March. 

Ortalis cinereiceps: 495, El Real, March. This species is treated by de Schauensee (1966) 
as a race of O. garrida. 

Ar amides cajanea: 440, El Real, March. 

hater alius albigularis: 41, El Real, March. 

Jacanajacana: 109, 133, El Real, March. 

Belonopterus chilensis: <$ (diss.) 280, El Real, March. 

Charadrius wilsonia: 53, 53, 53, 54, La Palma, February. 

Tringa flavipes : 79, El Real, March. 

Tringa solitaria: 50, Boca de Paya, February. 

Actitis macularia: 32, La Palma, February. 

Catoptrophorus semipalmatus: 233, 240, 282, 284, La Palma, February. 

Ereunetes mauri: 21-7, 22-9, 25-0, La Palma, February. 

Chlidonias niger : 37, 39, Jaque, February. 

Columba nigrirostris: 236, La Palma, February. 

Columbina talpacoti: 48, 50, La Palma, February; 51, El Real, February. 

Columbina minuta: 30, C.I.M., January; 30, Sautata, March. 

Claravis pretiosa: o* 73, Boca de Paya, February. 

Leptotila verreauxi: 146, El Real, February. 

Leptotila cassinii: 144, Rio Espave, January; 174, Rio Jaque, February. 

117 



Ama^ona ochrocephala: 405, Sautata, March. 

Piqya cqyana: 102, C.I.M., January; 120, Jaque, February; 124, El Real, February. 

Pi ay a minnta: 35, El Real, March. 

Crotophaga major: 144, 149, Cienagas de Tumarado, March. 

Crotophaga ani: 119, 130, La Palma, February; 94, 99, 109, Rio Jaque, February; 104, 

118, imm. 59, El Real, March. 
Crotophaga sulcirostris : 70, C.I.M., January. 
Pulsatrix perspicillata: 885, Jaque, February. 
Cbordeiles acutipennis: 6* 57, 6* 71, ? 57, Sautata, March. 
Nyctidromus albicollis: 6* 53, ¥ 50, El Real, March. 

Glaucis hirsuta: 5 -9, C.I.M., January; 5-2, 5-2, 7-1, Rio Espave, January. 
Threnetes ruckeri: 6-2, 6-2, Rio Espave, January. 

Phaethornis super cilio sus : 5-0, Rio Espave, January; 6-o, Jaque, February. 
Phaethornis longuemareus : 2-3, Rio Espave, January. 
Thalurania furcata: 4-1, Rio Espave, January. 
Trogon melanurus: $ 112, Cerro Pirre, March. 
Trogon viridis: $ 81, Cerro Pirre, March. 
Trogon rufus: o* 57, Jaque, February. 

Ceryle torquata: $ 330, $ 274, Jaque, February; $ 320, Rio Paya, February. 
Chloroceryle ama^pna: $ 119, Rio Jaque, February; $ in, $ 130, o* 135, 6* 142, Boca de 

Paya, February. 
Chloroceryle americana: 6* 40, Cerro Pirre, March; $55, Rio Jaque, February; $$ 39, 55, 

Rio Paya, February. 
Chloroceryle inda: o* 60, ?? 53, 60, El Real, March 
Chloroceryle aenea: $ 14-6, lower Atrato valley, March. 

Electron platyrhynchum : 60, Rio Espave, January; 63, 64, 64, Cerro Pirre, March. 
Baryphthengus martii: 198, Jaque, February. Included by de Schauensee (1966) under B. 

ruficapillus. 
Momotus momota: 108, 128, Rio Espave, January; 109, 119, 120, El Real, March. 
Galbula ruficauda: <$<$ 25-1, 26-3, Rio Perancho, March. Both nominate ruficauda, 

although this area is close to a region of hybridization with G. r. melanogenia. 
Jacamerops aurea: $ 76, Rio Espave, January; $ 62, Cerro Pirre, March; $ 64, lower 

Atrato valley, March. 
Notharcus macrorhynchos: 109, Rio Espave, January; 99, 103, El Real, February/March. 
Notharcus tectus: 33, Rio Espave, January. 
Nystalus radiatus: 63, Rio Jaque, February. 
Malacoptila panamensis: $ 46, juv. 42, Rio Espave, January; juv. 37, Boca de Paya, 

February. 
Nonnula frontalis: 15-2, 15-0, Rio Espave, January; 15-3, Sautata, March. Included 

under iV. ruficapilla by de Schauensee (1966). 
Monasa morphoeus: 93, 96, 98, 102, Rio Espave, January; 114, 122, Rio Paya, February; 

105, 118, Cerro Pirre, March. 
Pteroglossus torquatus: $ 196, Boca de Paya, February. 
Selenidera spectabilis: $ 229, Cerro Pirre, March. 
Picumnus olivaceus: 10 • 8, El Real, March. 
Celeus loricatus: $ 74, Rio Perancho, March. 
Centurus rubricapillus : 6* 55, $ 45, C.I.M., January. 
Centurus pucherani: $53, Rio Espave, January; $ 62, Jaque, February; $ 52, Boca de 

Paya, February. 
Campephilns melanoleucos: $ 274, $ 181, Rio Espave, January. 

References : 

Britton, P. L. 1970. Some non-passerine bird weights from East Africa. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 

90: 142-144, 152-154. 
Collins, C. T. 1972. Weights of some birds of north-central Venezuela. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 

92: 151-153. 
Colston, P. R. 1 97 1. Additional non-passerine bird weights from East Africa. Bull. Brit. 

Orn. CI. 91 : 1,10-111. 
— 1972. African passerine bird weights. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 92: 11 5-1 16. 
Haverschmidt, F. 1968. Birds of Surinam. Edinburgh & London: Oliver & Boyd. 
Meyer de Schauensee, R. 1966. The Species of Birds of South America. Wynnewood, Pa: 

Livingston. 
Snow, D. W. & Snow, B. K. 1963. Weights and wing-lengths of some Trinidad birds. 

Zoologica 48: 1 - 1 2 . 
Wetmore, A. 1965. Part 1 & 1968. Part 2. The Birds of the Republic of Panama. Smiths. 

Misc. Coll. 150 (1 & 2). 

118 



Once more : the identity and authorship of 

Treron griseicauda 

by G. F. Mees 

Received 4th June, 1973 

Sims & Warren (1955) drew renewed attention to the unsettled authorship 
and identity of Treron griseicauda, which by previous authors had been either 
used for the Javanese subspecies of Treron pompadora as T. p. griseicauda 
G. R. Gray, 1 8 5 6, or for the Celebesian subspecies as T. p. griseicauda Wallace, 
1863. Sims & Warren (195 5) discovered that Bonaparte (1854: 10) had listed 
T. griseicauda as a synonym under the name T. aromatica, although his des- 
cription was, in fact, based on specimens of the Javanese subspecies, and not 
on T.p. aromatica from Boeroe. They concluded that T. griseicauda Bonaparte, 
1854, notwithstanding the fact that it was first published as a synonym, is an 
available name, and therefore proposed to call the Javanese subspecies T. p. 
griseicauda Bonaparte, 1854. 

A year later, Mayr (1956) objected to the treatment of Sims & Warren, 
observing that according to the principles laid down at the Zoological 
Congress, Copenhagen, an otherwise unavailable name does not acquire 
availability by being cited subjectively in the synonymy of another name. 

Subsequently, however, the following emendment of the International 
Code was adopted by the XVIth International Congress of Zoology (Wash- 
ington 1963): "A name first published as a synonym is not thereby made 
available unless prior to 1961 it has been treated as an available name with its 
original date and authorship, and either adopted as the name of a taxon or 
used as a senior homonym" (Art. 1 i[d]). 

There cannot be the slightest doubt that Sims & Warren, well before 1961, 
have used T. griseicauda Bonaparte exactly in the meaning of Art. 1 1 (d) and 
therefore have validated it. The correct name of the subspecies of Treron 
pompadora occurring on Java is therefore Treron pompadora griseicauda 
Bonaparte, 1854. 

If it was the change in redaction of Art. 11(d) alone that affected the nomen- 
clature, I might have left the matter as it was, but there are two reasons why 
a renewed discussion appeared desirable. The first is that Goodwin (1967: 
308), in a much-used work, has accepted Bonaparte's name, but without 
explanation. 

The second reason is that even if one rejects T. griseicauda Bonaparte, the 
name T. griseicauda Wallace (1863a) for a bird from the Celebes is of doubtful 
validity, as long as the exact date of publication of T. griseicauda Schlegel 
(1863b) is not known. Schlegel (1863a) mentioned that the first nine sheets of 
the "Nederlandsch Tijdschrift voor de Dierkunde" were printed around the 
middle of 1862, but that: "the publication of this work can only begin with 
1863". Wallace's name was published in April 1863 (cf. Duncan 1937), 
Schlegel's paper was not only reviewed in the Ibis of July 1863 (p. 359-360), 
but in the same number Wallace (1863b) devoted a special article to a dis- 
cussion of it, which definitely shows that it must have been received some 
time before July, and may well antedate Wallace's paper of April 1863. 

Sanft (i960, note 12) has quoted evidence that the first part of the "Neder- 
landsch Tijdschrift voor de Dierkunde" was published in 1862, as Schlegel 
(1862), in a work dated August 1862, and certainly published before the end 
of that year, gave full references, with page- and plate-numbers, to it {Buceros 

119 



pulchrirostris and Buceros nagtglasii). However, this was explained by Schlegel 
(1863a) as quoted above, and later Schlegel (1873) gave 1863 as year of 
publication of the pigeons described in the first part of the "Nederlandsch 
Tijdschrift voor de Dierkunde". A small consequence for the nomenclature 
is that not, as Peters (1945) and Sanft (i960) did, the "Nederlandsch Tijd- 
schrift voor de Dierkunde" has to be cited as containing the original 
descriptions of Buceros pulchrirostris and Buceros nagtglasii, but the "Museum 
des Pays-Bas". 

I take this opportunity to mention that if one follows Goodwin (1967) in 
merging the genus Megaloprepia with Ptilinopus (personally I am unconvinced 
of the necessity to do so), the species listed as Ptilinopus for mosus (Gray) by 
Goodwin, must be known as Ptilinopus bernsteinii Schlegel, as correctly 
pointed out by Schlegel (1863a); see also Wallace (1865 : 388). Indeed, under 
the present Code (Art. 59[b]), Ptilinopus bernsteinii has been the valid name 
for the species right from the moment of its publication. 

References : 

Bonaparte, C. L. 1854. Conspectus Generum Avium 2. Lugduni Batavorum. 

Duncan, F. M. 1937. On the dates of publication of the Society's "Proceedings", 1859— 

1926 (etc.). Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond. 107A: 71-84. 
Goodwin, D. 1967. Pigeons and doves of the world. London: Brit. Mus. (Nat. Hist.). 
Mayr, E. 1956. The names Treron griseicauda and Treron pulverulenta. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 76: 

62. 
Peters, J. L. 1945. Check-list of birds of the world 5. Cambridge, Mass.: Harv. Univ. Press. 
Sanft, K. i960. Bucerotidae. Das Tierreich 76: 1-174. 
Schlegel, H. 1862. Buceros. Mus. Hist. Nat. Pays-Bas 1 (mon. 1): 1-22. 

— 1863a. Letter to the editor. Ibis 5 : 11 9-1 20. 

— 1863b. Observations sur les colombars, voisins des Treron aromatica et vernans. Ned. 

Tijdschr. Dierk. 1 : 63-71. 

— 1873. Aves Columbae. Mus. Hist. Nat. Pays-Bas 4 (mon. 35): 1-180. 

Sims, R. W. & Warren, R. M. L. 1955. The names of the races of the Pompadour Pigeon, 
Treron pompadora (Gmelin), in Java and Celebes. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 75 : 96-97. 

Wallace, A. R. 1863a. List of birds of the Sula Islands (east of Celebes), with descriptions 
of the new species. Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond. for 1862: 333-346. 

— 1863b. Notes on the fruit-pigeons of the genus Treron. Ibis 5 : 318-320. 

— 1865. On the pigeons of the Malay Archipelago. Ibis (n.s.) 1 : 365-400. 



St. Vincent Parrot : plumage polymorphism, 
juvenile plumage and nidification 

by Holly A. J. Nichols & Thomas Duncan Nichols 

Received 21st April, 1973 
INTRODUCTION 

We have been able to re-evaluate variation in plumage colour of the St. 
Vincent Parrot Ama^ona guildingii as a result of our observation of captive 
and museum specimens and the first captive breeding of this species. One of 
us (T.D.N.) observed plumage variation in wild parrots and some details of 
nidification in a preliminary field trip (19-23 April, 1973) to St. Vincent. 

PLUMAGE VARIATION 

In 1967 the government of St. Vincent granted special permission to 
Young Island Hotel of St. Vincent to donate two juvenile A. guildingii to 
U.S. zoos. The hotel donated one to the National Zoological Park, Washing- 
ton, D.C., and the second to the Houston Zoological Gardens. Since A. 
guildingii is an IUCN endangered species, these two zoos and the New York 



Zoological Park (Bronx Zoo) and the Chicago Zoological Park (Brookfield 
Zoo), each having one specimen, instituted a co-operative breeding pro- 
gramme, bringing the parrots together at the Houston Zoo. The Chicago 
parrot died in 1970; its skin is now at the Louisiana State University Museum 
of Zoology. The Houston Zoo purchased a fifth, apparently very old A. 
guildingii in 1971. We have thus been able to closely study these five adults. 
One of us was able to carefully examine an additional twenty-two captive 
specimens on St. Vincent. 

One of us (H.A.J.N.), a former employee of the Houston Zoo, was 
responsible for the first Houston parrot, the New York parrot and the one 
offspring they successfully raised in 1972. This was the first time this species 
had been raised in captivity, allowing us the opportunity to study the juvenile 
plumage. 

The plumage coloration of A. guildingii is complex. Clark (1905) and Ridg- 
way (19 1 6) have described it in detail. They describe some specimens which 
are generally more green than brown, their most conspicuous difference 
being primaries with the basal portion green rather than yellow. Clark and 
Ridgway described these green parrots as immature, although Ridgway 
cautioned in a footnote, "I strongly suspect that in reality [this plumage] 
represents a dichromatic phase". 

James Bond described (pers. comm.) an A. guildingii nestling he observed 
in 1927 as "covered with short, dull green feathers". Allen (1961) reported 
"young entirely green" probably on the basis of Bond's observation. John 
Warfield, who was responsible for the two juvenile specimens the Young 
Island Hotel donated to the U.S. 200s, has written (pers. comm.) that one 
of the two was always more green. The second, however, he described as 
being distinctly more brown. Both of these parrots are now at the Houston 
Zoo and six years old. The first bird's plumage is that described by Clark 
and Ridgway as immature. The second bird (the breeding female) and the 
other three specimens including the juvenile parrot, now at the Houston 
Zoo, have the yellow-brown plumage described by Clark and Ridgway as 
adult. The juvenile plumage coloration of the one parrot raised in 1972 was, 
except as noted below, virtually identical to that of the yellow-brown morph 
parents. There are thus two morphs, green and yellow-brown, and the 
juvenile plumage coloration of any particular bird is quite similar if not 
identical to that of its eventual adult plumage. We are aware of eight green 
morph and forty-eight yellow-brown morph specimens in fourteen museum 
collections and ten green morph and seventeen yellow-brown morph 
specimens in captivity. 

Clark noted that of the eight specimens he collected, no two were exactly 
alike in plumage. Similarly we must say it is difficult to find any specimens 
of the five at the Houston Zoo, of the twenty-two observed in captivity on 
St. Vincent, and the fifty-six museum skins with like plumage. Although 
the differences between green and yellow-brown morph specimens are dis- 
tinct, many yellow-brown morph specimens, such as the mounted specimen 
in the City of Liverpool Museums, have some areas of green on the back or 
carpalia. Some birds, such as a yellow-brown morph in the possession of 
William Miller of St. Vincent, appear to have a more yellowish tone to the 
breast and fewer greenish areas (we have not been able to positively classify 
this variation). 

There is also considerable variation in other plumage characteristics such 
as the width of the central blue-green tail band, head coloration, neck 
coloration, and amount of black feather edging. LSUMZ 69139 for example 



is unusual in having a pale yellow chin and adjoining malar region, and an 
orange throat and posterior malar region, the usual blue being mostly 
confined to the nape and green to the hind neck. An apparent partial lutino, 
owned by Miller, has many deep yellow feathers on the nape and hind neck. 
Two specimens, BM 89.1.20.307 and AMNH 417,403, have collars with very 
heavy black edging. 

Although the excessive variation of head coloration may eventually be 
understood in terms of distinct morphs, we would only point out the existence 
of two extremes and their approximate occurence. The breeding male at the 
Houston Zoo, which is typical of one extreme, has his eye almost surrounded 
with feathers which are at least tipped with blue-violet, the forehead and 
anterior crown only being white. The Houston breeding female is an example 
of the other extreme. There is much more white on her head, the eye always 
having been completely surrounded by white. The lores, forehead, crown, 
and anterior portion of the auriculars are generally white except for some pale 
yellow in the posterior crown. We have not been able to classify the varia- 
tions between these two extremes, there being several patterns of cartenoid 
and melanin deposition resulting in heads with mixtures of white, yellow, 
orange-brown and blue-violet. The head coloration of the Houston juvenile 
parrot for example is similar to the breeding female's except for some yellow 
and blue posterior to the eye. We are aware of nine specimens of the first 
extreme, seven of the second and forty-two we are not able to classify. All 
variations in head coloration occur in both green and yellow-brown morph 
parrots. 

We have not been able to detect any changes in head coloration from photo- 
graphs taken over several years of the parrots now at the Houston Zoo. The 
breeding male for example looked the same in 1972 as when Arthur W. 
Ambler photographed it in 1959 (Allen op. cit. 100). (In the last few months, 
however, diet changes of the five parrots at the Houston Zoo have been 
responsible for eliminating much yellow from their head plumage). Many of 
the individual parrots observed on St. Vincent in the collections of Miller 
and John Houser were known to be four of five years old. As a group these 
birds displayed a wide variety of stable plumage characteristics, such as 
referred to in this paper, specifically having all varieties of head coloration. 
(We do not believe that any of the plumage colour variation of the twenty- 
two captive specimens observed on St. Vincent resulted from dietary 
abnormalities; they were all well fed.) We conclude age does not normally 
affect head plumage coloration. 

We have not detected correlation between sex and any of the plumage 
characteristics. 

FIELD OBSERVATIONS 

As Clark indicated, the distinction between the green and yellow-brown 
morphs (which he considered young and adult) is relatively easy to make in 
the field. I (T.D.N.) observed both morphs in the upper Buccament Valley. 
Although I was not able to accurately count the number of each morph 
observed, I. A. Earle Kirby, his associate, and I observed or heard approxi- 
mately twenty-five parrots in nine hours. The parrots were eating the abund- 
ant fruit of Pouteria multi flora. 

We found two nest sites, one at 1,000 ft. in an Ormosia monosperma, about 
40 ft. up the trunk, and one at 1,500 ft. in a Dacryodes exce/sa, about 80 ft. up 
the trunk. D. excelsa is usually hollow and I was told that it was the normal 
nesting tree. 



I 



Kirby's associate, an unusually observant native naturalist, said that he 
had never seen "a clutch larger than the normal two". A clutch of two would 
be in agreement with the 1905 report of Clark, the 1927 observation by Bond 
(pers. comm.), the 1930 report of Porter, and the clutch of two eggs laid in 
1972 at the Houston Zoo. 

One egg shell was obtained (laid by a captive bird) from Warfield as a 
donation to Louisiana State University Museum of Zoology. It measures 
38-1 by 30-1, as compared to 43 -8 mm by 32-6 mm for the first (infertile) 
of the two eggs laid at Houston in 1972, and 46 -6 mm by 38 -8 mm for the 
egg reported by Harrison & Holyoak (1970). 

SUMMARY 

Ama^ona guildingii has been found to display a wide variety of plumage 
polymorphism. Two major morphs are identified, which had previously been 
considered as the immature and adult plumages. The juvenile plumage of 
any individual is the same as its adult plumage. A few details of nidification, 
and observations made on St. Vincent are reported. 

AC KNOWLEDGEMENTS 

We thank the following persons for describing or lending specimens of 
the indicated institutions: Dr. A. Schwartz (Miami), Dr. R. A. Paynter Jr. 
(Museum of Comparative Zoology), Dr. E. R. Blake (Field Museum of 
Natural History), Dr. J. Bond and Dr. J. V. Griswold (Academy of Natural 
Sciences), Dr. J. M. Forshaw and Dr. J. P. O'Neill (Louisiana State Uni- 
versity Museum of Zoology), Dr. W. B. King and Dr. R. L. Zusi (Smith- 
sonian Institution), Dr. M. Gochfeld and Mr. D. Ewert (American Museum 
of Natural History), Dr. K. C. Parkes (Carnegie Museum), Dr. J. C. Barlow 
and Dr. R. D. James (Royal Ontario Museum), Dr. P. J. Morgan (City of 
Liverpool Museums), Dr. E. H. Stickney (Yale Peabody Museum of Natural 
History), Dr. D. D. Lonsdale (Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo), 
Dr. D. W. Snow (British Museum, Natural History), and Mr. C. W. Benson 
(Cambridge University Museum of Zoology). We thank Dr. W. G. Conway, 
Dr. J. Bell and Mr. A. Ambler for providing information and photographs 
of specimens previously at the New York Zoological Park, Mr. R. Small for 
photographs of the specimen previously at the Chicago Zoological Park, 
and Mr. J. W. Houser, Mr. J. Warfield, Mr. W. Miller and Dr. I. A. E. 
Kirby for their assistance on St. Vincent. 

References : 

Allen, R. P. 1961. Birds of the Caribbean. 223. New York: Viking. 

Clark, A. H. 1905. Lesser Antillean birds (Ama^pna guildingii). Proc. Bost. Soc. N. H. 32: 
267-271. 

Harrison, C. J. O. & Holyoak, D. T. 1970. Apparently undescribed parrot eggs in the col- 
lection of the British Museum (Natural History). Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 90: 42-46. 

Porter, S. 1930. Notes on the rare parrots of the genus Amazona. Avic. Mag. (4)8: 2-12. 

Ridgway, R. 1916. Birds of North and Middle America. Part VII: 225-227. Washington: 
Govt. Print. Off. 

The humerus of Ichthyornis as a taxonomically isolating 

character 

by C. J. 0. Harrison 

Received 1 6th June, 19J3 
Two small sea-birds of the genus Ichthyornis were described by Marsh (1880) 
from the Cretaceous of Kansas. According to him they possessed true teeth, 
resembling in this respect Hesperornis, with which they co-existed. A number 

123 



of skeletal elements were found and Marsh commented "In their powerful 
wings and small legs and feet they remind one of the terns, and, according 
to present evidence, they were aquatic birds of similar life and habits". He 
used the skeleton of the Royal Tern as a basis for his reconstruction of /. 
dispar. Gregory (1952) suggested that the toothed jaws associated with the 
species were those of reptiles and that Ichthyornis species had bills like those of 
modern birds. Following from this, with Marsh's comments on their tern- 
like appearance well-established in literature, there was a tendency to suggest 
Ichthyornis as the probable ancestor of the modern Charadriiformes (Fisher 
1967, Brodkorb 1971). 

More recently Walker (1967) and Gingerish (1972) have argued that 
Ichthyornis species were toothed, and have found additional material which 
appears to confirm this, but quite apart from the question of the presence or 
absence of teeth Ichthyornis species also show at least one other morphological 
peculiarity, which was remarked on by Marsh but which has received little 
attention since. This is the size and position of the crests on the humerus. 
Marsh (pp. cit.) comments on the exceptional size and position of the deltoid 
crest in his description of the humerus ; but in discussing the reconstruction 
of Ichthyornis he states that "the locomotive organs of Ichthyornis are so 
similar to those of typical birds that they present no such interesting mechani- 
cal problems as were suggested by the skeleton of Hesperornis" . The position 
of the deltoid crest is, however, quite exceptional. 

Normally the deltoid crest is an elongated ridge along the external side of 
the shaft of the humerus at the proximal end. It provides, inter a/ia, an attach- 
ment surface for the large pectoralis major muscle which creates the main 





Figure 1. Proximal, palmar and external views of the proximal ends of left humeri of 
(a) Ichthyornis dispar and (b) Platalea leucorodia. 



power for the downstroke of the wing in flight. It is usually an elongated 
prominent flange of bone, stout at the base and thinner towards the edge; 
but the degree of development varies in different species and in some it is 
little more than a stout ridge. In all modern birds it projects palmarly from 



124 



the external palmar edge of the shaft and is usually almost at right-angles to 
the transversely-elongated head (Fig. ib). It may curve laterally the further 
it projects from the shaft, and towards the edge in some species the outer 
portion may be at an angle of c. 50-60 degrees to the head. 

In Ichthyornis dispar, the species for which complete humeri are known, the 
deltoid crest is large and long and projects laterally, continuing the line of 
the transverse proximal head (Fig. ia). It forms a thin flange almost at right- 
angles to the position of those on modern birds. It could be suggested that 
specimens had undergone some crushing and distortion, but I have examined 
a specimen of a proximal end of a humerus completely prepared from its 
matrix, and on this, although the hollow shaft has been crushed, the surface 
of the outer part of the crest and the region adjacent to the proximal head 
show no evidence of the displacement needed to change the position of this 
flange had it originally been in a position comparable with that of a modern 
bird. 

The structural modification was not a general early avian feature. As 
Yalden (1972) has pointed out, the deltoid crest of Archaeopteryx h extensively 
developed, but an examination of the specimen of the latter in the British 
Museum (Natural History) reveals that in this bird the deltoid crest projects 
in a similar palmar plane to those of modern birds. The humerus of Hes- 
perornis is reduced to a slender strip of bone, and the only humerus showing 
some similarity to that of Ichthyornis is one from the Lower Cretaceous of the 
Weald, currently being described (Harrison & Walker, in press), on which, 
although the outer portion of the deltoid crest is broken away, the portion 
present appears to show similar structure to that of Ichthyornis and may be 
earlier evidence of this modification. 

Another peculiarity of the humerus of Ichthyornis is the apparent absence of 
the bicipital crest. This normally forms a rounded, laterally-projecting crest 
on the internal side of the shaft adjacent to the proximal head, bordering a 
smooth surface which projects a little palmarly. The size of the bicipital 
surface and crest varies from one species to another in modern birds, but 
these are never wholly absent except on the greatly reduced humeri of some 
ratites. 

With the humerus in position on the body of a modern bird the deltoid 
crest projects horizontally and slightly ventrally along the upper edge of the 
humerus, but if the humerus of Ichthyornis is placed in a similar position the 
crest projects dorsally. There do not appear to be modifications of the 
articulating surfaces of the humerus of the latter which would indicate some 
other position for this bone. Marsh's reconstruction of /. dispar (1880) 
shows this dorsal projection of the deltoid crest. 

The position of the deltoid crest in modern birds is presumably that which 
provides the most efficient surface angle for the functioning of the flight 
muscles. For that of Ichthyornis to work in comparable fashion would involve 
considerable forward rotation of the humerus and hence of the whole wing. 
It is improbable that Ichthyornis would show evolutionary divergence to 
produce a less efficient system and much more likely that the modification of 
the humerus indicates a specialised muscle system which probably involved 
modification of the mode of flight. Since the changes shown involve an 
absence of, or change in angle of, surfaces used for the attachment of major 
muscles for wing movement it is likely that the mode of flight was peculiar 
and may have involved more gliding, although the modifications of humeri in 
modern gliding birds such as the Procellariiformes are quite unlike those of 
Ichthyornis. 

125 



Assuming that the arrangement of crest on the proximal end of the humerus 
in Archaeopteryx and in modern birds represents the normal condition in the 
main evolutionary stem in birds, then the development of the deltoid crest 
and loss of the bicipital crest in Ichthyornis represent a marked evolutionary 
divergence from this, not paralleled in modern forms. It is unlikely that an 
evolving Ichthyornis phylogenetic line would regain the more typical humeral 
structures, and in this character, as in the probable possession of teeth, it 
appears to have been an evolutionary blind end, having no ancestral affinities 
to any known subsequent avian taxa. 

References : 

Brodkorb, P. 1971. Origin and evolution of birds, in D. S. Farner & J. R. King, eds. 

Avian Biology 1 : 20-55. New York: Academic Press. 
Fisher, J. 1967. Fossil birds and their adaptive radiation, in The Fossil record: 133-154, 75 3— 

762. London: Geol. Soc. 
Gingerish, F. D. 1972. A new partial mandible of Ichthyornis. Condor 74: 471-472. 
Gregory, J. T. 1952. The jaws of the Cretaceous toothed birds Ichthyornis and Hesperornis. 

Condor 54: 73-88. 
Harrison, C. J. O. & Walker, C. A. in press. Wyleyia, a new bird humerus from the Lower 

Cretaceous of England. Palaeontology 16. 
Marsh, O. C. 1880. Odontornithes ; a monograph on the extinct toothed birds of North America. 

Washington : Govt. Printing Office. 
Walker, M. V. 1967. Revival of interest in the toothed birds of Kansas. Trans. Kansas 

Acad. Sci. 70: 60-66. 
Yalden, D. W. 1971. The flying ability of Archaeopteryx. Ibis 113: 349-356. 



The relative numbers of migrant and resident rollers 
in eastern Kenya 

by L. H. & B. E. Brown 

Received 22nd May, 1973 

In February 1968, when touring the Tsavo National Park of eastern Kenya 
with members of the Fauna Preservation Society, it was noted that the 
European Roller Cor arias garrulus was very numerous. The average density 
was estimated at 2-3 per mile (1 -2 — 1 -cj/km) of road traversed, which, on 
the basis of the mean visibility on either side, gave a density of 60-90 rollers 
per square mile (23-3 5 /km 2 ). Possibly rollers may have concentrated along 
roads though there is no direct evidence that they were not evenly spread 
through the habitat. If similar densities prevailed throughout the Tsavo 
Park there would have been 480-720,000 in the park itself, while the total 
in the thornbush area of eastern Kenya alone would be of the order of 2-3 
million. This may appear a huge figure; but doubtless these birds collect here 
from an enormous area of European and Asian breeding habitat. 

In the eastern Kenya thornbush there are two main rainy seasons, the 
long rains extending in good years from late March to mid-May and in bad 
from mid- April to mid-May; and the short rains, extending from late October 
to late December in a good and early November to early December in a bad. i 
As a rule the April-May rains are the heaviest, and April the peak rainfall j 
month. However, in some areas the November-December rains are less 
erratic. The dry seasons which follow, January-March and June-September, ! 
also differ, that between January and March being shorter but hotter than j 
the mid year dry season, when July and August are usually cool and overcast. I 

126 



European Rollers are present in Kenya from October to late April, 
straggling into May; but are only numerous from early November to March, 
that is, in the short rains and succeeding dry season. They usually arrive 
in numbers when the first heavy storms of the short rains occur in early 
November and bring out an abundance of insect life. Other migrant in- 
sectivorous species, for instance Hobbies Falco subbuteo, are also very common 
at this time. Migrant European Rollers then greatly outnumber the local 
resident species, the Lilac-breasted Roller Coracias caudata and the Rufous- 
crowned Roller Coracias naevia. This is a feature common to other migrant 
genera, for instance hirundines and wagtails. 

In an attempt to obtain more exact quantitative data on numbers of 
resident and migrant species counts were made in 1969-70 of all rollers 
along stretches of the main Nairobi-Mombasa road at different times of year 
on journeys to and from the coast. The counts were not made at "ideal" 
times but fitted in with other affairs. Some of them have already been briefly 
referred to by Moreau (1972: 181), but are given here in greater detail and 
related to season and ecological conditions, in Tables I— III. 



TABLE I 

Early long rains counts, March-April 
Food abundant by April. European Rollers on northward' passage 



Date 


Conditions 


Sector 


C. garrulus 


C. caudata 


C. naevia 


Total 


31.3.69 


Early rain. Heavy 
passage N. of 
C. garrulus 


I 

II 
III 


2 

103 

68 


9 

5 

2 


4 

7 

2 


15 
115 

72 






Total 


173 


16 


13 


202 


31.3.70 


Poor early rains; 
bush very dry, 
few rollers 


I 

II 
III 



8 



2 






2 
2 


2 
10 

2 






Total 


8 


2 


4 


14 


25.4.69 


Wet, after 


I 
















main departure 


II 





10 


8 


18 




of C. garrulus 


III 


18 


16 


21 


55 






Total 


18 


26 


29 


73 


16.4.70 


Wet, after 


I 








1 


1 




early light 
storms 


II 
III 


7 

1 


2 
4 


11 
1 


20 
6 






Total 


8 


6 


13 


27 




Total March counts 


181 


18 


17 


216 




Total April counts 


26 


32 


42 


100 




Total March-April 


207 


50 


59 


316 



Ratio C. garrulus: other spp. March 4-9:1 
April 0-35 : 1 

127 



TABLE II 

Dry season, August-September 
European Rollers absent. Food scarce 



Date 



Conditions 



Sector 



C. garrulus C. caudata C. naevia Total 



5.8.69 


Dry. 


I 





j 


O 


! 




Cool 


II 





O 


O 


O 






III 





O 


O 


O 


30.8.69 


Dry. 


I 





O 


O 


O 




Sunny 


II 





2 


O 


2 






III 





O 


O 


O 



Total o 3 03 

22.8.70 & So few of any species seen that counts not considered worth analysing. 

5.9.70 Even local species very scarce. 



TABLE III 

End short rains, December-January 
Food sometimes abundant. European Rollers present 



Date 


Conditions 


Sector 


C. garrulus 


C. caudata 


C. naevia 


Total 


20.12.69 


Lush after 
good rains 


I 

II 
III 


1 

79 
58 


1 

5 

1 


2 

19 

1 


4 

103 

60 



Total 



167 



4.1.70 



Dry: vegetation 


I 


5 


1 





6 


still long, but 


II 


78 


2 


11 


9 1 


leaf fallen 


III 


117 


2 





119 



Total 200 

Total Dec. /Jan. counts 338 



216 
383 



Total, all counts 



545 



65 



92 



702 



Ratio: C. garrulus: other spp. Dec. /Jan. 7-5:1 
Ratio: C. garrulus: other spp. year round 3-5:1 



The road was divided, mainly for convenience, but also because of 
ecological differences, into three sectors : — I, Kiboko-Mtito Andei (48 miles, 
77km); II, Mtito-Andei-Voi (61 miles, 98 km); and III, Voi-Mackinnon 
Road (46 miles, 74 km). Originally, all were Acacia-Commiphora-Adansonia 
woodland with a decreasing cline eastward from about 750 to 500 mm of 
annual rainfall, Kiboko to Mackinnon Road. However, Sector I, the wettest, 
supports a fairly heavy human population and consequently a low population 
of elephants Loxodonta africana^ with the result that much of the woodland, 
including large baobab trees Adansonia, survives. Sector II passes almost 
entirely through the Tsavo National Park, where an enormous elephant 
population has practically destroyed the woodland including almost all I 
Commiphora and Adansonia; and Sector III skirts the boundary of the National ! 
Park (strictly respected by the resident elephants) so that both sides of the 
road are again wooded. This sector is also somewhat drier than the others, 
with more stunted Commiphora woodland. Certain other birds, for instance I 

128 



the migrant Grasshopper Buzzard Butastur rufipennis, are common here in 
November-December and not elsewhere. 

The resident species C. caudata and C. naevia occur the year round, but 
their numbers also fluctuate, indicating local movements. Slender evidence 
suggests that their main breeding season may be the long rains, April-May, 
so they should reach peak numbers in May-June. Insects and other suitable 
prey are then quite as, if not more abundant than they are in November- 
December, when C. garrulus is also present in far greater numbers and could 
compete with the residents for such food. However, C. naevia at least, which 
is the commonest resident roller in Commiphora woodland (C. caudata prefers 
moister areas), also becomes quite numerous in November-December and 
breeds in both main rainy seasons. 

From the counts, however, it appears that the numbers of both species of 
resident rollers increase sharply between March and April, at a time when 
European Rollers are departing northwards and the first storms of the long 
rains have fallen. Their numbers approximately double between late March 
and late April, presumably preparatory to breeding. These rollers too are 
clearly nomadic or migratory, for, after breeding in the long rains, they also 
become very scarce in the latter part of the June-October dry season. C. 
naevia^ which is the commoner species and better adapted to Commiphora 
woodland, apparently also becomes common again in the short rains 
November-December. 

So far the evidence does not support any suggestion that a heavy popu- 
lation of elephants in Sector II has depressed the breeding population of 
resident species by depriving them of breeding sites. The total of all counts 
of resident species in Sector II, the worst affected by elephants is 84, cf. 5 2 
for Sector III, and 21 for Sector 1, the woodland least affected, with abundant 
breeding holes in baobabs. Corrected for distance, these figures become 84, 
71 and 22, still suggesting that the highest resident roller populations are in 
areas worst damaged by elephants. 

Possibly the large numbers of dead but not yet completely rotted trees 
and stumps resulting from elephant damage may actually have provided more 
breeding holes than formerly existed, so favouring the resident rollers, of 
which C. naevia certainly also breeds in banks of streams. However, this 
suggestion requires further investigation. 

In general it seems probable that: 

(1) The total numbers of any species of roller inhabiting this thornbush 
is not necessarily limited by food supply. The numbers of resident rollers 
living in the area in April and May, when near their peak, are always very 
much lower than the combined total of all species present, or of European 
Rollers alone, from November to March. The total of all European Rollers 
in four December-March counts is 519 (mean 130/count), despite one very 
low count of eight on 31.3.70, after most of the birds had left. Without this 
low count the average of the other three counts would have been 170, which 
may be compared with 26 (mean 13) in two April counts. In other words 
although food, which would be relatively scarce at the end of the January- 
March dry season, becomes abundant again in April, the total numbers of 
rollers, especially of European Rollers, decrease. Those of both resident 
species in the same counts are 80 in December-March (mean 27) cf. 74 (mean 
37) in April. Year round there are on average 3 -5 European Rollers for one 
of any resident species while in December-March the proportion is 6 • 5 : 1 
in favour of the European Roller. This is so despite the fact that C. naevia at 

129 



least is a larger and more powerful species than C. garrulus, killing inter alia 
snakes up to at least 50 cm long. 

(ii) That the numbers of all species fluctuate greatly from year to year 
according to the rains and that rollers in general are more nomadic in the 
African tropics than is generally realised. Local movements of the Abyssinian 
Roller C. abyssinica have been related to the dry and wet seasons by Brown 
(1946: 194), and Elgood et al. (1973: 35) find all Coracias and Eurystomus 
rollers migratory in Nigeria. In Kenya and Ethiopia the Broad-billed Roller 
Eurystomus glaucurus is notably nomadic, coming into breeding condition and 
display at once with the onset of rains in, for instance, western Ethiopia. 
(Brown unpub.) The Somalian-Ethiopian race of the Lilac-breasted Roller, 
C. c. lorti, is certainly migratory, arriving in Ethiopia-Somalia in the early 
rains in March, breeding and then departing south to spend the off season in 
northern Kenya (Archer & Godman 1961 : 704; Urban & Brown: 1971 64). 
Regular counts en route to the coast were discontinued after 1970, but it was 
noted that the numbers of European Rollers fell greatly in 1971-72, a drought 
year, though increased again in 1972-73, when the short rains were again 
good (102 seen on Sector II and III on 8.1.73). 

(iii) The numbers of resident rollers may be limited by territorial behaviour 
rather than food supply. In April there should be strong competition for 
available nesting holes in trees and in banks (sometimes used by C. naevid) 
between rollers, glossy starlings, hornbills, wood-hoopoes and others. 
However, there is little actual evidence that shortage of holes reduces the 
population, rather the reverse. The European Roller in. winter, on the other 
hand, merely has to find a suitable perch from which it can forage in a tem- 
porary feeding area, using trees, telegraph wires, termite hills and any dead 
stump of the type recently abundantly provided by the Tsavo elephants. It 
may thus be able to exploit the sometimes over-abundant available food supply 
in the November-March period more effectively than any breeding resident 
species, whose territorial requirements may be evolved to survive in dry 
years when food is relatively very short. 

References : 

Archer, G. & Godman, E. M. 1961. The Birds of British Somaliland and the Gulf of Aden III. 

Edinburgh & London: Oliver & Boyd. 
Brown, L. H. 1946. Birds and I. London: Michael Joseph. 
Elgood, J. H., Fry, C. H. & Dowsett, R. J. 1973. African migrants in Nigeria (first part). 

Ibis 115 : 1-45. 
Moreau, R. E. 1972. The Palaearctic- African bird migration systems. London & New York: 

Academic Press. 
Urban, E. K. & Brown, L. H. 1971. A checklist of the birds of Ethiopia. Addis Ababa: 

Haile Sellassie I University. 



The voice of Sarothrura insularis with further notes 
on members of the genus 

by Stuart Keith 

Received pth June, 1973 

In April, May and June, 1971, 1 travelled extensively in Madagascar in com- 
pany with Mr. A. D. Forbes-Watson and Mr. D. A. Turner. Having pre- 
viously recorded the voices of six of the African species of Sarothrura, I was 

130 



most anxious to hear and record the voice of Sarothrura insularis ^ endemic to 
Madagascar. The only information I had on its call was the description by 
Rand (1936: 360), and I speculated that this call might resemble one of the 
calls of Sarothura rufa (Keith, Benson & Irwin 1970: 65). 

I guessed wrong. We were accompanied on part of our journey by M. 
Georges Randrianosolo from O.R.S.T.O.M. in Tananarive, and when he 
identified a mysterious call in the forest of Tsarafidy as that of Sarothrura 
insularis^ I frankly didn't believe him — it didn't remotely resemble any sound 
I had ever heard from a Sarothrura. He was later proved right, however, when 
calling birds were seen and recorded near Didy, 2 5th-29th April, 1971. 

The vocalisation I would like to name the "full call" lasts about 20 seconds 
and may be described as follows: first one or two short trilled notes are 
given, followed by several loud double notes, which are followed in turn by 
a long series of loud single notes of similar quality. These single notes 
gradually accelerate and at the same time decrease slightly in pitch, becoming 
quite faint toward the end. This is a loud, high-pitched, and ringing call 
capable of carrying for nearly half a mile. It may be written: "drr - drr - 
KEEKEE - KEEKEE - KEEKEE - KEE - KEE - KEE - KEE - KEEK 

- KEEK - KICK - KICK - kick - kick - kick - kick - kikikikikikikiki 

". This vocalisation I take to be territorial in nature and it might there- 
fore be better described as a song (for the distinction between "song" and 
"call", see discussion in Keith et al. y ioc. cit.: 15). 

Other vocalisations of S. insularis are mostly either shortened versions of, 
or excerpts from, this full call. The introductory trill is frequently dispensed 
with, and sometimes the double notes are too. Sometimes there is just a short 
burst of notes lasting 5-10 seconds, while at other times the full call may be 
considerably lengthened, the bird continuing to give a series of low "kiks", 
unevenly spaced. This last was usually given in response to song playback, 
or to the call of a nearby rival, and I take it to be a grumbling "annoyance 
call" similar to that noted for S. boehmi {loc. cit.: 56). 

Sonagrams of four vocalisations of S. insularis are shown in Fig. i- 
Sonagrams A and B are both taken from a full call ; A shows the double note 
followed by two single notes, while in B there is just a series of single notes. 
Notice that in B the notes are spaced more closely together — this is from the 
latter part of the call where the notes are speeded up. In A a distant bird can 
faintly be seen calling "over" the near one — only the upper harmonic has 
registered. Sonagram C shows the beginning of a short, loud call which only 
lasted about 10 seconds — notice there are no introductory notes, and that 
it very quickly accelerates and descends in pitch. Sonagram D shows a 
different vocalisation, not part of a full call and a "call" rather than a "song". 
It has a dry, slightly trilled quality and the rhythm is irregular — notice the 
space between the notes increases in this particular excerpt. 

Of course at this stage, with limited experience, I cannot ascribe "meaning" 
to any of these vocalisations, except to repeat that the full call seems fairly 
clearly to be the territorial call or "song". At Didy the birds were very vocal — 
when one bird called it would frequently set off several others in the neigh- 
bourhood. I cannot say whether they were breeding or not, since we neither 
collected specimens nor found nests. They may not have been — this was 
April, and Rand {loc. cit.) only records breeding in September and October. 
However, the birds might be expected to breed during the rainy season, 
which lasts from November to April, so they may have been at the tail end 
of their breeding season during our visit (see following page). 

131 



Song playback readily elicited a response, often from several birds. Some 
of these were far enough apart to have been males on separate territories, 
while others were close enough to have been two birds of a pair. Calling by 
a suspected pair was similarly noted for S. lugens (Keith et al. 1970: 50) in 
response to song playback (see also Keith et. al., loc. cit.: 13-15 for discus- 
sion of female rallid calls). 



o 



g*S 



,. *•« 



-.,,«.i <*,( 



ti^MiMtt^m^m^mmmmmmtm^m^mmmm 



1 4 ' 1.6 ' 1.8 : I l.O ' ll.2 ' ll.4 ' Ut^hf^i&O^Z^^lztr 



>- ' 1.2 

O fij 

O 

_J 



I |i | ii|^ U |M i |M| .i , l i 2 | ,i i IU .i | {i r V ^ 'lJ ' »C ' y"|ii1 i' i 



^ ^ MR* ,«*•< fW«:* jSM*M f m*%U 0W*** 



<T L2 1 I4 1 IS 1 IJEp ILCT IJ2 1 II4 1 Its' ilB 1 I2D 1 I2T 124^ 



** • Ai 



f^i 



1.2 ' 14 1.6 ' IS Tt.0 11.2 ' 1.4 ' 1 1.6 ' TiS I2.O' 12.2 124 

TIME IN SECONDS 

Figure i . Sonagr ams of vocalisations of Sarothrura insular is. In order from top to bottom 

A, B, C, D (see text). 



We may now compare the voice of Sarothrura insularis with the voices of j 
other members of the genus. The voices of ayresii and watersi ate still un- I 
known, but those of the remaining six are depicted in the sonagrams in 
Keith et al. (loc. cit.: 1 2-1 5). It can be seen at once that insularis is unlike any 
of the others, and this is even more obvious to the human ear. The African 
birds have low, moaning songs and fairly low, hollow calls. The songs are 

132 



all at iooo cycles or lower, while calls are mostly pitched around 2000 cycles, 
with overtones up to 3000 cycles. The calls of insular is are pitched at about 
4000 cycles, with an undertone at 2000. The first notes in Sonagram C are at 
5000 cycles, while the upper reaches in C are at 6000. To the human ear this 
difference sounds even greater than the sonagrams would suggest; insularis 
sounds high and ringing, the African birds low and hollow. Besides the 
difference in pitch, the form of the full call of insularis is also unique — no 
African bird has an accelerating, descending call. 

In view of these great differences it is impossible to say to which African 
species insularis is most closely related on the basis of voice. We speculated 
(Joe. cit.: 71) that on morphological grounds affinis and insularis seem so 
closely related as to form a superspecies. This supposed closeness is not 
backed up by the vocalisations, and I would prefer now to abandon this 
thought. Affinis has a low moaning song, and in fact the call of lugens seems 
the closest to that of insularis , although it is still very different. The vocali- 
sations of insularis cannot be used as a clue to its relationships with other 
members of the genus ; furthermore, their difference is now such that I would 
hesitate to class insularis as a member of any superspecies. 

Further notes on Sarothrura insularis 
I must here report a locality error and discuss its consequences. In our 
species account of Sarothrura insularis (Keith, Benson & Irwin 1970: 64-65) 
we frequently comment on the occurrence and breeding of the species at 
Manombo "in the subdesert". This was particularly interesting as the only 
evidence for the bird's occurring in this habitat. 

In 1 97 1 Messrs. Forbes- Watson, Turner and I discovered that there are 
two towns named Manombo in Madagascar. The principal one is located at 
22 56' S., 43 29' E., on the southwest coast north of Tulear, in the sub- 
desert. Benson, Irwin and I assumed that this was the place indicated. 
However, there is also a tiny settlement named Manombo at 32 10' S., 
47 50' E., on the souths// coast south of Farafangana. Whereas it is evident 
from the route map in Rand (1936: 147) that both Manombos were visited by 
his expedition, the locality he gives (Joe. cit.: 360) for the two nests he dis- 
covered is "Manombo (southeast)" (italics mine). They are further described 
as being "in a grassy field near the forest". This is the normal habitat for the 
species, and all our remarks based on its occurrence at Manombo in the 
subdesert (a most unlikely habitat) must now be revised. 

Rand (Joe. cit.: 360) gives the habitat of the species as "the secondary 
brush, the grassland on the edge of the forest, and the little clearings in the 
forest". We can now add marshes to this list of habitats. At our campsite a 
few km north of Didy (about 3 5 km south-southeast of Ambatondrazaka), 
while some birds inhabited the forest edge, a larger number were living in 
the open marsh nearby. This is an extensive flat area of long grass, reeds and 
sedge inhabited by such species as Rallus madagascariensis, Dryolimnas cuvieri 
and Calamocichla newtoni. The birds were frequently seen scuttling across the 
track which crosses the marsh, and many more called from the marsh than 
from the woods. We did however also see an adult male and a fully-grown 
young male, the latter with a rufous wash already appearing on the forehead 
and chin, walking on the forest floor a few hundred yards from the marsh. 
Like many species in Madagascar, Sarothrura insularis is clearly tolerant of a 
variety of habitats. This further confirms my supposition (see above) that the 
birds had about finished breeding at the time of our visit. 

133 



Notes on other members of the genus 
Sarothrura elegans 

An adult male was collected at Koobi Fora on Lake Rudolf, Kenya, 
(3 55' N., 36 10' E.) by A. Duff-McKay and R. E. Leakey on 26th April, 
1 97 1. Details were given by Duff-McKay to A. D. Forbes-Watson in Nairobi 
and then sent to me. Koobi Fora is a very dry locality with almost no ground 
cover — scrubby bushes and small trees. Near the lake shore, where the bird 
was collected, there is a sparse covering of "ouch ! grass", and about one 
km from the collecting point there are extensive reed beds on the shore of 
the lake. When collected the bird was hiding in the thatched roof of a small 
hut, where it had apparently been seen on the two previous days. Duff- 
McKay further reports that Mrs. R. E. Leakey had seen "some" a week or so 
before running around in the "ouch ! grass". 

This is a most interesting record. The normal range of the species in 
eastern Africa is from Cape Province, South Africa north to central Kenya 
and southern Sudan. There are only four records from north and east of this 
range: a female from Somalia (the type of "S. buryz"); a male from south- 
central Ethiopia (Roux & Benson 1969), and two aural records: Benson 
(1947: 49) heard the call near Mega, southern Ethiopia, and I taped the song 
of a bird at Mt. Marsabit, northern Kenya. Koobi Fora, on the shore of 
Lake Rudolf at its northeastern end, is about 1 60 miles northwest of Mars- 
abit and 140 miles west of Mega, these being the two nearest recorded 
localities. While perhaps not strictly being a range extension, Koobi Fora 
being south of a line drawn between the localities in Somalia and southern 
Sudan where the bird has been taken, this certainly adds an interesting locality 
to its sparsely documented range in northeastern Africa, and is only the 
third specimen for the area, and the second male. 

Perhaps of even greater interest is the question, what were the birds doing 
there? This is a most unusual habitat for the species. Whereas S. elegans is 
tolerant of a variety of habitats, including forest, scrub, long grass and bush 
near forest, and even overgrown cultivation, it is always associated with 
thick, often impenetrable vegetation. It is therefore most surprising to find 
birds running around in dry grass in semidesert country. Benson's bird from 
Mega was in juniper woods, the bird from near Shashamane, south-central 
Ethiopia, was taken in the undergrowth of a degraded Podocarpus forest, and 
my bird at Marsabit was in montane forest — all within the range of typical 
habitats. The only bird taken in habitat which sounds similar to that at Lake 
Rudolf is the unique specimen from Somalia, which according to Archer & 
Godman (1937: 334) was collected at the foot of the Wagar Mountains at 
700 ft. around hot springs in desolate country. Is it possible that there is a 
population of S. elegans in northeastern Africa which has adapted to living in 
waterside habitats in semi-arid country? Only further field work will tell. 
The condition of the gonads of the Koobi Fora bird was not noted, but 
elsewhere in Kenya males in breeding condition have been taken in February, 
April and May, so the presence of birds at Lake Rudolf in April might indi- 
cate breeding. 

The only other possibility is that the birds were on migration. There are 
two objections to this idea, however. First, S. elegans is not known to be a 
migrant elsewhere in its range, at least not a long-distance migrant. A few 
occurrences suggest local movement (summarised in Keith et al. 1 970 : 3 3-34) 
but most birds are sedentary and many probably live in the same locality 
year-round, in common with almost all African forest birds. Secondly, 

!34 



supposing these birds were migrants, where could they have been migrating 
from and to? Why would birds leave their forest habitat in southern Ethiopia, 
southern Sudan, or northern Kenya and cross hundreds of miles of desert to 
reach a different country? There is no reason to suppose that any of the above 
places becomes inhospitable at any time of year, nor do the birds have any 
rallid competitors in these places. Until further evidence is forthcoming, the 
status of the birds at Lake Rudolf must remain a mystery. 

I compared the Rudolf specimen with birds in the American Museum of 
Natural History from southern Africa belonging to the nominate race and it 
agrees with them on colour. With a wing of 95 mm, however, it is the longest 
winged specimen on record. We list (loc. cit. : 3 7) the wing measurements of 
all specimens we could find, and the wing range of males is 80-94, females 
84-93 mm. Its other measurements (culmen 16, tarsus 25, middle toe 30 mm) 
fall within the ranges for males. The long wing might perhaps indicate a 
disposition to migrate. 

My associates Benson, Irwin and I are indebted to Mr. Terence Oatley for 
drawing our attention to two points arising from our paper (Keith et al. 
1 970). On p. 40 we mention the nest of Sarothrura rufa found by Pooley (1962: 
45) on the Usutu River in Zululand. Oatley writes (in litt. to Irwin) "from 
the habitat and calls described by Pooley this was a genuine Sarothrura all 
right but almost certainly elegans. The greenish tinged eggs were probably 
white but so described because of the green cast of the light in the dense 
forest understorey". 

Secondly, Oatley notes a point of geographical synonymy on p. 33. Under 
"Movements" we cite two records by Astley Maberly, one from "the foot- 
hills of the northern Drakensburg" and the second from "the northeastern 
Transvaal". These, Oatley tells us, are one and the same place. 

We are likewise indebted to the Rev. Dr. William Serle for pointing out 
to us (in litt. to Benson) that the precise type locality of Sarothrura elegans 
reichenovi (Sharpe) is known to be Buea, ex-British Cameroons. We had 
stated (p. 36) that the precise type locality was not known, but Serle drew 
our attention to a paper by Reichenow (1892) dealing with a collection of 
birds made Dr. Preuss in the Cameroons, from which Sharpe's type was 
taken. S. elegans appears on p. 178, and it is evident that the collecting locality 
is Buea at 950 m altitude. 

Sarothrura pulchra 

With regard to the call of this species, Serle (in litt. to Benson) says that on two 
occasions his African skinner Gilbert shot female birds while calling. The call 
of the female "resembled that of the male but was not nearly so loud, was 
higher pitched, and the notes followed each other so closely that it was 
almost like a trill and the whole performance occupied a shorter time than 
the usual male sextuplicated call". Gilbert also believes that the female also 
has a call just like that of the male. This is most welcome supporting evidence 
for the view that female rails call as well as males. 

It is now known that Sarothrura is one of those rallid genera in which the 
primaries are moulted alternatively rather than simultaneously (vide e.g. 
Stresemann & Stresemann 1966). Since, however, there are not very many 
collected specimens of Sarothrura in moult, it may be worth mentioning a 
further specimen. Mortensen (1971), writing on a collection of birds from 
Liberia and Guinea, describes (p. 1 16) a male S. pulchra with one primary half 
grown which was shot on a nest with two eggs. 

i35 



Acknowledgements 

I would like to thank my co-authors of the Sarothrura monograph, Messrs. 
C. W. Benson and M. P. Stuart Irwin, for many helpful suggestions, and the 
three of us are grateful to Mr. T. Oatley and the Rev. Dr. W. Serle for allow- 
ing the information they supplied us with to be included in this paper. I 
would also like to acknowledge the help of my colleagues Messrs. Forbes- 
Watson and Turner in tracking down and identifying the voices of Sarothrura 
insularis, and the three of us are likewise grateful to M. Georges Randriano- 
solo for pointing out the call of the bird and helping us find it. We would 
also like to thank M. Roederer, Director of O.R.S.T.O.M., for permitting 
M. Randrianosolo to accompany us in Madagascar. 

References : 

Archer, G. & Godman, E. M. 1937. The birds of British Somaliland and the Gulf of Aden 2. 

London: Gurney & Jackson. 
Benson, C. W. 1947. Notes on the birds of southern Abyssinia. Ibis 89: 29-50. 
Keith, Stuart, Benson, C. W. & Irwin, M. P. Stuart. 1970. The genus Sarothrura (Aves, 

Rallidae). Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 143(1). 
Mortensen, P. 1971. A collection of birds from Liberia and Guinea (Aves). Steenstrupia 

(Zool. Mus. Copenhagen) 1: 115-125. 
Pooley, A. C. 1962. Red-chested Pigmy Rail Sarothrura rufa. Lammergier 2(2): 45. 
Rand, A. L. 1936. The distribution and habits of Madagascar birds. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. 

Hist. 72(5): 143-499- 
Reichenow, A. 1892. Zur vogelfauna von Kamerun. Journ. Ornith. 40: 177-195. 
Roux, F. & Benson, C. W. 1969. The Buff-spotted Flufftail Sarothrura elegans in Ethiopia. 

Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 89: 119- 120. 
Stresemann, E. & Stresemann, V. 1966. Die mauser der vogel. Journ. Ornith. 107, suppl. 







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Published by the BRITISH ORNITHOLOGISTS' CLUB and printed by 
The Caxton and Holmesdale Press, 104 London Road, Sevenoaks, Kent. 



Bulletin of the 



British Ornithologists' Club 




Edited by 
C. W. BENSON 



Volume 93 No. 4 



December 1973 



Committee 

Sir Hugh Elliott, Bt., o.b.e. {Chairman) 

J. H. Elgood {Vice-Chairman) 

C. W. Benson, o.b.e. {Editor) 

R. E. F. Peal {Hon. Secretary) 

P. Tate {Hon. Treasurer) 

J. H. R. Boswall 

Dr. P. J. K. Burton 

P. Hogg 

C. J. Mead 



Bulletin of the 

BRITISH ORNITHOLOGISTS' CLUB 



l 



Vol. 93 No. 4 Published: 20 December, 1973 

The six hundred and eighty-fourth meeting of the Club was held at the 
Cafe Royal, 68 Regent Street, London, W.i, on Tuesday, i8th September 
1973 at 7 p.m. 

Chairman: Sir Hugh Elliott, Bt., o.b.e., present 23 members and 22 guests 

The speaker was Dr. Leslie H. Brown, o.b.e., b.sc, who addressed the 
Club on British Birds of Prey. The following is a precis of his address : — 
Despite legislative and educational measures of recent decades, our diurnal 
raptor fauna still strikes a visitor from Africa as impoverished and threatened. 
Of the 25 species, nine are vagrants, of which three (Sea Eagle, Black Kite, 
Red-footed Falcon) could conceivably some day stay to breed. Another two 
are boreal migrants, which although fairly regular are unlikely to do so 
(Gyrfalcon, Rough-legged Buzzard). Of the remaining 14 breeding species, 
four are represented by under 10 pairs (Honey Buzzard, Marsh Harrier, 
Osprey, Goshawk — the first two limited by ecological factors). There are 
10-50 pairs of Red Kite and Montagu's Harrier, 50-100 of Hobby, and 100- 
500 of Hen Harrier, Golden Eagle, Merlin and Peregrine. This leaves only 
three species with populations exceeding 500 pairs and reasonably common, 
especially in the west where agricultural pesticides and gamekeepers, mainly 
pesticides, but even more so gamekeepers, are less prevalently hostile to 
Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and Buzzard respectively. 

Notwithstanding some successes (Hen Harrier, Osprey, Red Kite) — none 
of them unmarred by human interference — the conservation picture is black. 
Thus, since i960, the Golden Eagle has continued its decline: now, out of 
about 280 pairs, 220 breed but 80-90 of them fail through persecution by 
gamekeepers and shepherds, casual disturbance, egg-collecting and other 
causes, in descending order of importance. The proportional loss is far 
higher — reducing breeding success, for example, from 0-83 to 0-56 per pair 
per annum — than that resulting from the much publicized eagle-shoots in 
America, which accounted at most for 2 • 5 % of a population conservatively 
estimated at 50-100,000. 

The speaker emphasized the view that gamekeeping (for which land- 
owners should bear a full share of responsibility) remains the major threat, 
though other factors discussed were poisons and pesticides, disturbance 
(the disappearance of 5-16 pairs of eagles in Deeside in the last 12 years was 
attributed to this cause), habitat destruction, ecological limitations, and 
"unknown" (Merlin). It followed that, while pesticide monitoring and re- 
search, behavioural research (of which the needs and opportunities were far 
from fully appreciated and exploited, particularly in the case of such species 
as Merlin and such subjects as food and breeding success, even of Buzzard 
and Kestrel), extension of reserves, and possibly reintroductions, are all 
necessary and desirable, their success depends on a much more effective 
reformation of attitudes and above all law-enforcement than anything yet 
achieved. 

i37 



The juvenile plumage of Pseudhirundo griseopyga and 
identity of "Vom Swallows" 

by C. H. Fry 

Received ijth August, 197) 

In his paper on the African swallow Pseudhirundo (Hirundo) griseopyga (Sunde- 
vall), Dowsett (1972) referred to two peculiar hirundines netted and released 
alive by Dr. J. R. Lang at Vom (c^o'N., 8°5o'E.) in central Nigeria on 20th 
March 1968. Colour photographs and measurements showed them to 
resemble P. griseopyga, a small swallow with dark brown crown, glossy blue- 
black back, and greyish rump, but there were some distinctive plumage 
differences. The opinion had previously gained wide currency that they 
might represent a new species, although Dowsett thought they would prove 
to be some form of griseopyga. 

On 26th April 1973 Dr. Lang netted three further "Vom swallows" and he 
is certain that they are the same as the 1968 birds. I have examined the three 
in the flesh at the British Museum (Natural History) and there is no doubt 
that they are juvenile P. griseopyga, vindicating Dowsett's judgement. The 
uncertainty arose in the first place because the juvenile plumage, which 
differs markedly from the adult, is not at all adequately described in any of 
the standard African texts, despite there being already a few juvenile skins at 
the Museum. A full description is being published in the Bulletin of the 
Nigerian Ornithologists' Society, and the salient details are as follows: — 
Mantle, scapulars and flight feathers brown, entirely lacking the adults' 
strong blue gloss (two specimens) or with blue gloss discernible only on 
close inspection (one specimen); rump feathers grey-brown with 2 mm wide 
pale fawn tips; marked superciliary stripe formed by narrow (< imm) 
whitish tips and edges to feathers at sides of crown, the stripe broadening 
behind the eye and even extending onto the nape and in strong contrast with 
the mask formed by black-brown lores and ear coverts; pale buffy tips to 
secondaries, inner primaries and greater wing coverts; tail notch about 25 
mm deep (up to 59 mm in adult). 

Thus in the field juvenile P. griseopyga will somewhat resemble a fork- 
tailed Riparia: a small hirundine with mid brown upperparts with paler 
rump, and black mask contrasting with white superciliary stripe and white 
underparts. 

At close range the juvenile appears scaly, owing to the more or less narrow 
buffy edges to its brown feathers. This applies also to adults in fresh plumage, 
since at all moults newly-grown feathers are narrowly buff edged. The pale 
tips probably abrade away rapidly. In addition both juveniles and adults have 
a salmon-pink wash on the freshly-grown white feathers of the chin, throat 
and breast. This colour also seems to disappear soon; a Nigerian nestling 
near to fledging on 9th May (B.M. reg. no. 1955.59.159) is pink below, 
while neither the Vom specimens nor one of the same age and season (9th 
April) from further north in Nigeria show any pink (B.M. reg. no. 1933.8.2. 
27.1). Adult P. g. melbina from Liberia and P. g. gertrudis from Nigeria and 
Cameroun have warm buff- or salmon-pink chins and throats when freshly 
moulted in August, but September and later skins are without any pink. 

The residential status of P. griseopyga in Nigeria has been discussed by 
Elgood, Fry & Dowsett (1973) and little can be added on the strength of the 

138 



Vom records. If it breeds on the Jos Plateau, on which Vom is situated at 
1,310 m, it must do so extremely sparsely since in 14 years Dr. Lang has seen 
none other than those netted. It may be significant that, as Dr. Lang reports, 
there was a small migratory movement at Vom when the 1973 birds were 
netted, with Palaearctic passerines and the first plateau record of Turnix nana 
on the same day. The swallows, which I consider had fledged within four 
weeks, may have been migrants dispersing northward from Niger-Benue 
breeding grounds (Bannerman 1953). 

References : 

Bannerman, D. A. 1953. The Birds of West and Equatorial Africa. 2 vols. Edinburgh 

& London: Oliver & Boyd. 
Dowsett, R. J. 1972. Geographical variation in Pseudhirundo griseopyga. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 

92: 97-100. 
Elgood, J. H., Fry, C. H. & Dowsett, R. J. 1973. African migrants in Nigeria. Ibis 115: 

i-45, 375-4H- 



A new race of Thekla Lark in Harrar, Ethiopia 

by C. Erard & G. Jarry 

Received 21st August, 197 3 

In classifying the specimens recently brought back from Ethiopia by various 
expeditions from the Laboratoire de Zoologie (Mammiferes et Oiseaux) du 
Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle de Paris, we noticed three Thekla 
Larks from Harrar which at once seemed to us peculiar. These three speci- 
mens have been compared by one of us (C.E.) with the extensive material in 
the British Museum (Natural History). We thank Dr. D. W. Snow and 
I. C. J. Galbraith for facilities provided and C. W. Benson who translated 
our paper. These birds seem to us sufficiently homogeneous and distinct 
from other races of Galerida theklae to require their own name. Accordingly 
we propose: 

Galerida theklae harrarensis, subsp. no v. 

Description: This new form has no close resemblance to the populations 
of the high plateaus of Ethiopia attached to praetermissa (Blanford), the 

i colour of which is very dark, especially the reddish fawn underparts. It is 
akin to ellioti Hartert of Somalia, from which it is nevertheless easily dis- 
tinguishable. Harrarensis is in effect darker, less sandy: the streaks on the 
back are clearly of a brown which is more blackish in tone, these dark 
centres to the feathers being wider and much better defined. Below, the 
pectoral streaks are heavier. Finally, an important character, the bill of 
harrarensis is shorter than that of ellioti, and it is also clearly finer. 

These specimens have also been compared with G. t. huriensis Benson of 

; northern Kenya. Six specimens of the latter in worn plumage, comparable in 
this respect to our specimens, are very easily distinguished by their darker 
colour. The mantle of harrarensis is less densely streaked, the dark centres of 
the feathers being narrower. The feathers of the rump and upper-tail coverts 

; are of an almost uniform pinkish brown contrasting with the rest of the 
upperparts, whereas in huriensis the rump and upper-tail coverts are merely 
fringed with a brown of a reddish rather than a pinkish tone and the centre 

139 



is dark brown. Below, huriensis is more streaked on the chest, the markings 
being particularly large and densely distributed. Furthermore, huriensis has 
the bill longer and stouter, and has much less light fawn on the outer 
rectrices. 

Distribution: At present harrarensis is only known from three specimens 
collected in the north of the province of Harrar on 18th March 1971:^, 5 km 
west of Jigjigga (9°2i'N, 42°46'E), altitude 1,700 m; go, 32 km south-east 
of Jigjigga (9°i4'N, 43°o2'E), altitude 1,550 m. The first one was obtained 
in a steppe of low acacia bushes scattered over stony ground; the other two 
in an analogous habitat but much more rocky owing to the presence of the 
bed of a dry wadi. At these two localities, and in between, this form was 
relatively common. It did not appear to be breeding at this time. 

Type: <$ adult, 5 km west of Jigjigga, 18th March 1971. Collectors' no: 
2,794. In Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris. 

Measurements of type: Wing 101, tail 57, bill (from skull) 14-5, hind-claw 
11 mm. 

Measurements of material as a whole: The following is a summary of measure- 
ments, of material all of the same degree of wear of plumage: 





Wing 


Tail Bill from 
skull 
G. t. harrarensis 


Hind-claw 


*o*o* 


100, 101 


55, 57 14-5 (both) 


10-5, 11 


9 


93 


52 14-5 
G. t. ellioti 


11 


7 0*0* 


99-103 • 5 


51-60 14-5-17-5 


8-12 


av. 


ioi-8 


56-5 15-7 
G. t. huriensis 


9.9 


5 0*0* 


97-101 


51-5-60-5 15-17 


11-5-15 


av. 


99-1 


56-0 16-1 


12-2 



The type of harrarensis weighed 30 g; the male from 32 km south-east of 
Jigjigga 32 g, the female therefrom 3ig. 

Remarks: Urban & Brown (1971: 71) record only G. t. praetermissa and 
huriensis from Ethiopia. The latter should strictly speaking only figure in an 
inventory of the birds of Ethiopia as "probable". It has never been collected 
or recorded within Ethiopia, although Benson (1945) obtained his specimens 
only five miles south of the frontier with Kenya but never met with the 
species during his important investigations in Sidamo. Urban & Brown do 
not record G. t. ellioti. In this respect they follow White (1961: 50), who 
records this race only from the interior of British Somaliland south to 
Galkayu and Merca in Italian Somalia. Now, the type-locality of ellioti is 
Daghabur (8°n'N, 43°3i / E), which is in the Ethiopian part of the Ogaden, 
that is to say, in the south of the province of Harrar. Thus it is right to admit 
this form to the list of the birds of Ethiopia and to investigate its exact 
distribution in the Ogaden. 

References : 

Benson, C. W. 1945. Observations from Kenya Colony, Uganda and Tanganyika Territory. 

Ibis 87: 90-95. 
Urban, E. K. & Brown, L. H. 1971. A check-list of the birds of Ethiopia. Addis Ababa: 

Haile Sellassie I University Press. 
White, C. M. N. 1961. A revised check list of African broadbilts, pittas, larks, swallows, wagtails 

and pipits. Lusaka: Government Printer. 

140 



A new race of Thekla Lark in Bale, Ethiopia 

by C. Erard <& R. de Naurois 

Received 21st August, 19J3 

A study by one of us (R.N.), on the evolution of larks of the genus Galerida, 
led us to consider jointly the populations of G. theklae of the high plateaus of 
Ethiopia, until now considered as constituting the subspecies praetermissa 
(Blanford). Accordingly we have examined the material brought back by 
recent expeditions to Ethiopia organised by the Laboratoire de Zoologie 
(Mammiferes et Oiseaux) du Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle de Paris 
and that housed in the collections of the British Museum (Natural History). 
It is apparent to us that the birds of Bale are distinguishable from those from 
other high plateaus of Ethiopia, from which they are separated by the Rift 
Valley. They seem to constitute a discrete form, which we propose to call, 
in memory of our friend the late Francois Hue: 
Galerida theklae hue/, subsp. nov. 

Description: This form has no close resemblance to G. t. ellioti Hartert or 
G t. harrarensis Erard & Jarry (see immediately above), which are light 
coloured with a pronounced sandy tone. It is however near to G. t. praeter- 
missa and huriensis Benson. In comparison with these two races, huei has the 
streaking of the upperparts distinctly blacker and more intense (in worn 
plumage, the back and the top of the head appear almost uniformly black). 
The pale borders of the feathers of the mantle are narrower and lighter, more 
creamy or very light buff, less pinkish brown, this being particularly clear on 
the neck, where there is the outline of a pale band. The cheeks are likewise 
more intensely streaked than in praetermissa. On the underparts huei is white, 
very slightly washed with light buff as in huriensis, whereas praetermissa is a 
dark pinky brown, only rarely pale in colour. The streaking of the chest, of a 
much less heavy aspect than in huriensis, is similar to that of praetermissa, but 
the streaks are heavier and more densely distributed. The throat is white as 
in huriensis but much less streaked ; in praetermissa the throat is buffy. The 
beak of huei is intermediate between that of praetermissa (long and slender) 
and that of huriensis (long and stout). 

Distribution: G. t. huei inhabits the mountains of Bale where it has been 
collected at Dinsho (7°o6'N, 39°47'E) at an altitude of 3,200 m, and where 
the species is relatively common, inhabiting steppes and plains of a medium 
altitude (cf. Dorst & Roux 1972: 208). 

We likewise attribute to huei, although not identical in all characters, two 
specimens collected on 28th February 1971 at Asella (7°5 8'N, 39°o4'E), in 
Arussi, at an altitude of 2,640 m, on the edge of degraded forest intersected 
by cultivation. They are in fresh plumage, with a very dark pigmentation, 
although the edges of the feathers of the mantle are more like those in 
praetermissa (that is, more pinkish brown) of the Addis Ababa plateau. On 
the other hand, the underparts are much as in huei. The measurements of 
these two specimens are included below with those of that form. 

It is probably also huei which Dorst & Roux (1973) found well represented 
at Koffole (7°o5'N, 38°45'E), in Arussi, on arid steppes at an altitude of 
2,550 m. 

Type: g adult, Dinsho, 14th March 1968, specimen no. 24 collected by 
party composed of Prof. J. Dorst, F. Roux and J. Chauvency. In Museum 
National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris. 

141 



Measurements and weight of type: Wing 103, tail 54-5, bill (from skull) 17-5, 
hind-claw 1 i • . 5 mm. Weight 34 g. 

Measurements and weights of material as a rvhole: We compare below only 
praetermissa and huei; for data for huriensis, el/ioti and harrarensis, the other 
races recorded from Ethiopia, see Erard & Jarry above. The three items 
indicate respectively mean, range and number of specimens examined. 



Wing 


Tail 


Bill from skull 


Hind-claw 


Weight 




milli 


metres 




grammes 




G. 


/. praetermissa 






101 --] 

97-5 - 107 
21 


55-7 
5 49-5 - 60 
20 


16-6 

i5'5 - i7'5 
20 


i3'5 

11 — 16-5 

19 


35-2 
32- 39 

14' 


95-3 
91 -99 

5 


51-2 
48 - 54 
5 


16-1 

15 - i7-5 
5 
G. t. huei 


13-1 

11 - 15-5 

5 


34-0 
30- 36 
3 


103-7 
101 - 107 

4 
96-5 

95-5-97 

3 


54-6 

52-5 - 57-5 

4 

51-0 

50- 52-5 

3 


17-0 
16 - 18 
4 

15 

1 


13-5 
11-5 - 15 

4 

14-3 

12 - 16- 5 

3 


35-0 
34- 37 
4 

33'3 
32- 34 

3 



?? 

99 



Remarks: The existence of this dark form huei was foreseen by Friedmann 
(1937: 31), who remarked that the birds collected by the Childs Frick 
Expedition on the plateau of Arussi were blacker on the back and head than 
those of Shoa and that they "may represent an undescribed form". Friedmann 
refrained from naming it, not knowing the extent of individual variation in 
praetermissa; this all the more because Blanford (1870: 381) had named 
"A.. (G.) arenicola? Tristram, var. fusca" a very dark specimen obtained at 
Ashangi (i2°3 5'N, 39°39'E). It seems to us that praetermissa does show a 
certain variation in intensity of pigmentation. But in spite of an examination 
of the long series in the British Museum we have not found in this form any 
individual as dark and showing the characters such as we have given in the 
definition of huei. 

Three specimens from the vicinity of Ambo (8°57'N, 37°58'E) collected 
in October 1971 between 2,200 and 2,400 m in altitude show a slight ap- 
proach to huei. However, a careful examination shows that they are pale 
below, the pectoral striation is of the praetermissa type, being narrower and 
more diffuse than in huei, the throat is washed with light burly, the upperparts 
are certainly dark but not to the extent found in huei, while the pale margins 
to the feathers of the mantle do not accord with this latter but rather with 
those in praetermissa. 

References : 

Blanford, W. T. 1870. Observations on the geology and apology of Abyssinia. London: Macmillan. 

Dorst, J. & Roux, F. 1972. Esquisse ecologique sur l'avifaune des monts du Bale, Ethiopie. 

L'Oiseau et R.F.O. 42: 203-240. 
— 1973. L'avifaune des forets de Podocarpus de la province de l'Arussi, Ethiopie. L'Oiseau 

et R.F.O. 43: in press. 
Friedmann, H. 1937. Birds collected by the Childs Frick Expedition to Ethiopia and Kenya 

Colony. Part 2 — passeres. U.S. Nat. Mus. Bull. 153: 506 pp. 

142 



A new race of Pectoral-patch Cisticola from Cameroun 

by C. Chappuis <& C. Erard 

Received 21st August, 1975 

During a scientific journey which took us from Tchad to Gabon, we had the 
opportunity in October 1972 to traverse the montane area of Adamaoua in 
central Cameroun. On 17th October, in the area of the Mbangi mountains 
(see Plate 90 in Bartholomew 1956), at 40 km north of Ngaoundere (ca. 
7°45'N, i3°2 5'E) and altitude 1,400 m, we discovered a population of the 
Pectoral-patch Cisticola Cisticola brunnescens Heuglin on a plateau covered 
with meadows consisting of very short grass on stony ground, and strewn 
with strands of small area of bushes, relatively little crowded, meagre and 
low (height o-8o to 1 m). This bushy vegetation was more luxurious in 
hollows and drainage lines, developing into shrubs (height 2 to 3 m). 

The Pectoral-patch Cisticolas were frequenting the low tufts and thinly 
scattered bushes on the edges of the meadows. This habitat differed from 
that known to one of us (C.E.) in Ethiopia, where brunnescens inhabits humid 
meadows with grass of a height of 0*30 to 1 m. It would seem that in this 
Adamaoua locality, the grass being so short, the birds were associated rather 



Hz 
16000- 

12000- 

8000- 

4000- 



Hz 
64000- 



48000- 



32000- 



16000- 



244 
m sec 



« I ■.;'.' $ I 



.^.....-.....■h 



27 
msec. 



flBtil. 

27 r 



Figure 1. Song in flight of Cisticola brunnescens mbangensis. A: Sonagram on standard 
scale, 160 - 16000 Hz. B: The same reduced to quarter speed of A to show distribution of 
energy in band 5000 - 7000 Hz. (Sonagrams made with wide band-path filter). 



with the bushy formations. It may be noted that in the highlands of Bamenda 
(5°5 5'N, io°io'E), in ex-British Cameroun (now part of Nigeria), where the 
form C. b. lynesi Bates occurs, the species inhabits (according to the labels of 



143 



specimens in the British Museum, collectors Admiral H. Lynes and the Rev. 
Dr. W. Serle), certainly "moorland" and "open grassy flats" but also "bare 
hills with small shrubs and no new grass yet", this latter biotope resembling 
that in which we found it. The males were singing, at intervals from one 
another of ioo to 150 m. The song — apparently like that of the nominate 
race of the Ethiopian plateaus — was performed either in flight (the most 
usual) or from the top of a small bush: see sonagrams in Fig. 1. In this 
habitat, Macronyx croceus and Galerida {=Heliocorys) modest a were common; 
Myrmecocichla nigra and Francolinus bicalcaratus were seen ; while in the neigh- 
bouring zone of high bushes the dominant species were Prima subflava, 
Cisticola brachyptera, C. natalensis, Nectarinia cuprea^ Tchagra senega/a and Serinus 
mo^ambicus. 

Three males collected (at the finish of reproductive activity : testes 3 mm 
long) have been compared with the important material in the British Museum 
at Tring. It appears that this population of Adamaoua is sufficiently distinct 
from the other races of the species to require a name. So we propose : 

Cisticola brunnescens mbangensis, subsp. nov. 

Description: Our specimens are in very worn nuptial plumage, but never- 
theless are at once distinguishable from the other races in the same plumage. 
They resemble most closely lynesi Bates of the highlands of Bamenda, the 
only area not far from Cameroun where the species is so far known (White 
1962: 683). They differ in their smaller size: see measurements below. The 
general coloration is lighter. The streaking of the upperparts is less intense, 
these markings being narrower and in particular more brownish, less 
blackish. The crown is more rusty, not hazel. The rump contrasts with the 
mantle and is a bright and dark rusty maroon, lacking the yellowish tone of 
lynesi. Although very worn, the edges of the feathers of the mantle and the 
wing-coverts appear more yellowish, less reddish. 

Distribution: So far only known from the type locality in the highlands of 
Adamaoua, Cameroun. 

Type: £ adult, Adamaoua, 17th October 1972, collected by the authors, 
their no. 22. In Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris (wing 50, tail 
25-5, bill from skull 10 mm). 

Measurements: The following are comparative measurements of the new 
race and eight males in breeding dress from the highlands of Bamenda: 

Wing Tail Bill from skull 

C. b. lynesi 

8q*0* 5I-54(52-4) 26-31(28-9) II - II- 5 (lI-2) 

C. b. mbangensis 
3 cTc? 49-5o(49-5) 24-26(25-1) 10-10-5(10-1) 

Acknowledgements : We are grateful to Dr. D. W. Snow and I. C. J. Gal- 
braith for making us welcome in the bird room at Tring and for the loan of 
specimens. We are likewise thankful to C. W. Benson for translating our text 
into English, and also to Mrs. J. Hall-Craggs for assistance in its finalisation. 

References : 

Bartholomew, J. 1956. The Times Atlas of the world. IV. London: Times Publishing Com- 
pany. 

White, C. M. N. 1962. A checklist of the Ethiopian Muscicapidae (Sylviinae). Part II. Occ. 
Pap. Nat. Mus. S. Rhod. 26 B: 653-738. 

144 



The biology and a new subspecies of 

Monticola sharpei 

by T. Farkas 

Received 29th May, 1973 
INTRODUCTION 

The uncertainty about the generic and specific status of rock-thrushes in 
Madagascar has been discussed by Goodwin (1956). I worked in the field, in 
the breeding areas of these birds, from October 1969 to January 1970, as a 
result of which I was able to ascertain new details of various aspects of their 
biology. These details, preceded by an examination of specimens in the 
American Museum of Natural History, New York, support the suggestion 
of Salomonsen (1934), Goodwin (1956) and (recently) Hall & Moreau 
(1970) that the species concerned should be placed in the genus Monticola. 
Indeed this had been suggested much earlier by Milne-Edwards & Gran- 
didier (1879: 367), using the name Petrocincla instead of Monticola. I (Farkas 
1 971) have already discussed Monticola bensoni Farkas, and I will do the same 
for M. imerina (Hartlaub) in due course. The subject of the present paper is 
the more complicated case of M. sharpei (Gray), which I studied in the field 
as follows: — Mt. d'Ambre, 3rd November/ 3rd December; Perinet, 9th- 
22nd December; Ankaratra Mts., 27th December/2nd January. 

A NEW SUBSPECIES 

There are several features indicating that there are three clear-cut sub- 
species. For clarification I now refer only to geographical distribution and to 
differences in colour-pattern in adult males. Firstly, in the highland race the 
slate-blue extends from the throat to the lower part of the breast, while in 
the lowland and northern (Mt. d'Ambre) races this colour does not extend 
below the throat. Secondly, the margins of the remiges and wing-coverts 
are rufous in the northern race; likewise in the lowland race, except that the 
primaries are grey-edged; while in the highland race there are no rufous 
margins except for the secondaries, which are pale rufous-edged. Thirdly, the 
bright rufous rectrices are only narrowly dark-tipped in the northern race, 
whereas in the other two these tips are broader, and the dark colour extends 
along the outer webs of the outermost pair. Furthermore, the northern race 
has a "super-rufous" phase in which the dark tips are reduced still more or 
even absent, and irregular red spots may even be apparent on the dark 
central pair of rectrices. Finally, in the lowland race some males have a very 
pale, almost whitish patch on the chin (Plate 1), strongly reminiscent of the 
patch occurring regularly in the male of M. gularis (Swinhoe) of eastern Asia. 

Sharpe (1871, as Cosspyha imerina) described an adult male collected by A. 
Crossley, hinting however that it might differ from the form described by 
Hartlaub (i860), now known as M. imerina (Hartlaub). Thereupon Gray 
(1871) designated a new species, which is now M. sharpei (Gray) (in the 
References below, note the misleading title of Gray's paper, since he des- 
cribed a new species o£"Cossypha" as well as o£ Capri mulgus). There is nothing 
in Sharpe's description to indicate that the adult male which he had before 
him does not belong to the highland race, i.e. that it has grey-edged wing- 
coverts and primaries, and a slate-blue breast as well as throat. The specimen 
!. is in the British Museum (Natural History), and has been examined at my 
request by C. W. Benson, who confirms accordingly. It is the one listed by 

145 



t , 





I 




si 

u it* 









S^i 



146 



Warren & Harrison (1971) as a syntype of "Cossypha sharpei G. R. Gray, 
1 871" (sic), the other two syntypes doubtless being the two specimens 
regarded by Sharpe (1871) as young. The size of this specimen had already 
aroused the suspicion of Salomonsen (1934). He refers to it as "exceptionally 
big", with a wing-length of 82, as against 75-78 mm in "eight other males 
from Sianaka". Benson has also made its wing-length to be 82 mm. Thus this 
specimen belongs to the blue-breasted, grey- winged, large highland race, the 
correct name of which is therefore Monticola sharpei sharpei (Gray). Salo- 
monsen (1934) overlooked this, and re-described the highland race as M. 
imerina interioris, which is accordingly a synonym of M. s. sharpei. Conse- 
quently the small lowland race is in need of a name and description : — 

Monticola sharpei salomonseni, subsp. nov. 

Type: £ adult, collected in May 1929, Sianaka forest, eastern Madagascar. 
In American Museum of Natural History, registered number 412287. 

Measurements of type: Wing 71, tail 53, culmen (from rhamphotheca) 11, 
tarsus 24 mm. 

Description: The adult male of salomonseni differs in colour from that of 
nominate sharpei in that the slate-blue of the throat does not extend onto the 
breast, and only the primaries have grey edges on their outer webs, the wing- 
coverts and secondaries being rufous-edged. Salmonseni is a very small form, 
indeed the smallest in the genus as a whole. For further detailed wing- 
measurements, see Salomonsen (1934, in which sharpei = salomonseni, 
interioris = sharpei). The tail seems disproportionately short; thus 47-59, 
av. 54-8 mm, in 12 males in the A.M.N.H. 

By contrast, the adult female is little more than a small version of that of 
M. s. erythronotus (Lavauden), although with the strong rufous tints of this 
northern (Mt. d'Ambre) race relatively subdued. Yet the most distinctive 
feature is the white gular patch, reaching to the lower mandible, and edged 
by a dark malar stripe. This patch is less marked in the other two races 
(Plate 2). The underparts are pale brownish with a rufous tint, darkest on the 
breast and its sides, where there are oblong buff spots with dark, thin edges, 
diminishing downwards and replaced on the abdomen by narrow, dark 
apical tips to the feathers, giving a scaly appearance. The upperparts are 
plain dark olive with some red tinge, the wings similar but paler. The two 
central rectrices are dark olive with very fine, dark cross-bars, the others 
lighter with some rufous tinge, with a few irregularly shaped, pale rufous 
spots. Such spots and the rufous tinge are less developed in the nominate 
race, but more so in erythronotus, salomonseni thus being intermediate in this 
respect. 

Distribution: Salomonseni occupies the eastern lowland primeval forests, 
down to sea-level around the Baie d'Antongil, and intergrades at higher 
altitudes with the nominate race. An adult male which I measured (wing 77, 
tail 57, culmen 13, tarsus 25 mm), in the museum of the Office de Recherche 
Scientifique et Technique Outre-Mer (O.R.S.T.O.M.), Tananarive, seems 
intermediate. It was collected in 1924 at Bejofo-Bealanana, ca. i4°3o'S., 
48°45'E. The nominate, highland race occupies the Ankaratra Mts., and high 
ground on the central ridge of Madagascar to the north and south. Georges 
Randrianasolo (pers. comm.) has recently collected it in the forest patches of 
the Ankazobe Mts. (north-west of Tananarive), and Benson in the Massif 
de l'ltremo, west of Ambositra (two females, one adult, wings 79, one 
juvenile, wings 80 mm, 10/11 January). Salomonsen (1934) suggests that the 
type-specimen of sharpei (that is, the syntype listed by Warren & Harrison 

147 



197 1 ) came from somewhere in the Sianaka forest. In fact, as Benson cor- 
roborates, it is merely labelled "Madagascar". But it can be presumed that it 
was collected at a higher altitude west of the Sianaka forest, perhaps in the 
mountains west of Moromanga, or still further west and higher. 

At present erythronotus is only known from Mt. d'Ambre, in the northern- 
most tip of Madagascar. But it may intergrade to the southward with the 
nominate race. According to Randrianasolo, during an O.R.S.T.O.M. 
expedition in November 1966 to the Massif du Tsaratanana, led by R. 
Albignac, an adult male of an unknown race of M. sharpei was collected at a 
nest with two well developed young. The site was at an altitude of 2,050 m, 
in light forest with many bamboos in the undergrowth, the nest being 1 • 5 m 
up on a moss-covered rock. This specimen is in the collection of Col. Ph. 
Milon, and still awaits determination. It could be an intermediate. 



HABITAT PREFERENCE, GENERAL HABITS 

In the Ankaratra Mts., from the lower edge of the primeval forests up to 
2,000 m, near the summit, M. sharpei is common under the dense and high 
canopy wherever there is little or no undergrowth. The floor is thickly 
covered with fallen leaves and debris, in damper places with a cushion of 
moss. In clearings or less dense parts of the forests there is a high and lush 
shrubbery, unsuited to the species. In fact the birds prefer the more humid 
parts along streams, and wooded creeks. Along such creeks I found sharpei 
to be ubiquitous, although to-day most of them are cut off from the main 
body of the forests, encircled by pine plantations or low, dense secondary 
brush, both quite unsuited to it. 

The female spends more time on the ground than does the male. There she 
is perfectly camouflaged both by her cryptic colour and her quietness (Rand 
1936 aptly refers to sharpei as "sedate"). Often my first sight of the female 
was when she flew up only a few yards away, to alight on a low perch. If I 
tried to get nearer, she flew up into the canopy. The male is also often found 
on the forest floor, foraging among leaves and debris. Both sexes also take 
food regularly on mossy tree-trunks, lichen-bedecked thick branches, and 
even in the canopy. Their perches range from about 1 m up to the lower strata 
of the canopy. If frightened, they disappear into the canopy, remaining there, 
if necessary, silent and invisible for hours on end. 

The race erythronotus prefers places where under a somewhat discontinuous 
canopy of medium to high trees a luxuriant undergrowth of shrubs, tree- 
ferns and Pandanus thrives. The damp floor is thickly carpeted with fallen 
leaves, debris, moss, ferns and grass. Many strong lianas intersperse the 
space under the canopy, giving variety to the typical habitat of the "hooly- 
hooly", as the local foresters call these birds, in the mist-forests of Mt. 
d'Ambre. Like the nominate race, erythronotus also seems attracted by streams 
and creeks, although one can find it just as often in the margins as in the 
depths of the forest. But it never occurs under a continuous and dense 
canopy lacking in undergrowth, and never takes to places where there are 
only young trees dispersed among a dense undergrowth. Subject to this, it 
occurs from the lower edge of the forest, altitude ca. 600 m, to almost the 
summit at 1,450 m, though mostly between 800 and 1,200 m. Assuredly this 
race prefers the undergrowth more than does nominate sharpei. I often saw 
males, especially at dusk, perched low by a forest path, to swoop down now 
and then for an insect on the ground, or even to chase prey on the wing with 
great skill. If alarmed, often with a peculiar and harsh shriek, they dived 

148 



with a quick loop into the undergrowth, attaining a safe distance and then 
ascending into the canopy. Although I could not approach a male nearer 
than some 1 5 m, sometimes I could get as near to a female as 4 m. The birds 
often flew up to a high perch on a main branch from the rear, the head just 
poking out, a careful watch being kept on my movements. 



TERRITORY, REPRODUCTION 

According to Rand (1936), the onset of breeding in most Madagascar birds 
is in some way adjusted to the seasonal rainfall. On Mt. d'Ambre, while there 
is ample humidity from mist throughout the year, there is also a definite 
rainy season from December to March, when there are between 100 and 300 
mm of rain per month. In the central highlands the picture is similar, but in 
the east there is good rain in every month, except September/October, when 
the monthly average can be as low as 50 mm in some places. The races 
erythronotus and sharpei start breeding four to six weeks before the onset of 
the rains, that is, in the second half of October or early in November. In the 
east, at Perinet, I spent only the middle two weeks of December, mainly 
because I soon realised that breeding there was already over. A freshly 
moulted, subadult male in the A.M.N.H. (January 1923, Perinet) also sup- 
ports the assumption that in salomonseni adults and young alike moult in 
December/January, whereas in the other two races this starts in March. Thus, 
assuming that six months are needed from time of hatching to completion of 
moult out of the spotted juvenile dress, it could be that salomonseni starts to 
breed in July, that is, about the driest time of the year. Possibly under the 
conditions of a more evenly distributed rainfall this would be advantageous. 

There is no evidence of any movement in any race of M . sharpei. In the 
nominate and erythronotus territories are established in October. The largest 
one (in erythronotus) I estimated to be ca. 2-5 ha, but mostly they did not 
exceed 1 ha. Territorial rivalries seem to be confined to males; females, if 
present, were never involved in such activities. Indication of territory being 
marked by song, encroaching rivals were always received with threatening 
and self-asserting postures. A rudimentary display-flight served as a nuptial 
display (to the female) or as a kind of self-assertion (to another male). A male 
of erythronotus ', incited by a tape play-back, performed in this manner repeat- 
edly, in front of the tape-recorder. He first showed a self-asserting posture, 
and then flew off to another perch, where he made a gentle bow and repeated 
the self-asserting posture. The intervening flight had been straight, the wings 
slowly beaten, the tail fully spread and a bright nuptial song uttered. Similar, 
reduced display-flights have been reported for M. cinclorhynchus, vide Lister 
(1953), and for M. gu/aris, Neifeldt (1966). 

In the few cases in which nest-building was observed, only the female was 
involved. Of the 18 nests found in the Ankaratra Mts., all were built on large 
trees, mostly in notches on trunks, but very occasionally in forks of thick 
branches, from 1-5 to 6 m above the ground. They were made entirely of 
vegetable matter, the thick base and walls mainly of moss, the cup neatly 
lined with fine rootlets. Typically in the highland race there is a light ring 
on the rim, caused by a layer of light-coloured rootlets, those towards the 
lining being darker (Plate 3). Average dimensions are: — height (including 
beard-like base) 16, total width of cup 8, depth of cup 5 cm. The nest of 
erythronotus is similar except for the absence of the light ring on the rim. The 
fibrous lining appeared to have been obtained from lianas. However, an 
important difference in site was noted. Five nests of erythronotus found were 

149 




Plate 3. Nest with eggs of Monticola s. sharpei; Ankaratra Mts. By author. 



all skilfully hidden among Pandanus leaves, 3 to 6 m up, always in the deep 
shadow of the forest canopy. A. Traka, chief forester at Les Rouselles 
Station, told me that erythronotus builds only exceptionally on tree-trunks, 
mostly on Pandanus. However, a sixth nest which I found on Mt. d'Ambre 
had been built on the trunk of a giant tree-fern, directly over a forest path. 
In four clutches of erythronotus the clutch-size was only two, only in one 
was it three; the only clutch of the nominate was also two eggs. In both races 
the eggs are a pale unspotted turquoise. The two eggs from the Ankaratras 
measured 24 x 16-5, 23 x 17 mm. Incubation was only observed in erythro- 
notus. It was carried out solely by the female; although males, feeding 
incubating females, were observed at nests too. As soon as I approached a 
nest, the male always sang a few quiet warning melodies, whereupon the 
female slipped away from the nest. A female, two days before the hatching 
of eggs, somehow failed to do so; the male then stooped down to the nest 
with excited singing and chased her away. The period of incubation is not less 
than 1 5 days. Both parents feed the young, which after leaving the nest are 
under parental care for about one month. The nominate and northern races 
are probably single-brooded ; in the lowland race the whole breeding pattern 
may be different, as already suggested. 



POST-EMBRYONIC DEVELOPMENT 

The observations in this and the following section are based mainly on two 
hand-reared young males of erythronotus which I kept from the age of 10 days 
for two years in captivity (ages as given are always from date of hatching), 
although supplemented by field observations. The skin of nestlings of M. 
sharpei is yellow, with long, pale grey down; bill pale grey, turning blackish 

150 



within two weeks; legs ivory, turning blackish after six weeks. The large 
head with a bright yellow gape, and long legs, are conspicuous. The sleeping 
habit of nestlings is also remarkable. They lie mostly on their sides with 
outstretched necks and legs, the latter "planted" against the lining of the cup 
of the nest. On the nth day the eyes of my two young started to open, and 
by the 1 5 th all my movements were attentively followed. On the 1 7th day 
they weighed respectively 32-5, 32 g; at 500 days 41, 43 g. The first clumsy 
attempts at preening started on the 12th day. They soon improved, and on 
the 17th preening was extended to the wings and tail. The first head- 
scratching (indirect) was observed on the 1 5 th. 

In begging, the head stretched towards the feeding parent turns alter- 
nately left and right from the axis of the body, following the movements of 
the parent's head. The body is lifted into a sloping position while supported 
on the intertarsal joints, and the wings are fluttered gently, the one nearest 
to the parent usually more vigorously than the opposite one ("asymmetrical") 
fluttering). "Symmetrical" fluttering also occurs, but vanishes soon after 
leaving the nest. The first vocal component is a quick succession of weak 
"peeping" tones, changing gradually after the 24th day into a humming 
"sreee", rather similar to the begging calls in other Monticola spp. This call, 
used in begging or for any other purpose, disappears when the young can 
feed independently. 

The droppings are large, pear-shaped and enveloped in a tough, gelatinous 
substance. After leaving the nest they become smaller, and the gelatinous 
envelope disappears. My hand-reared young spent all their time either free 
in my room, or in a cage when I was on the move. But during a difficult stage 
of the expedition in January 1970, for reasons of their security, at night they 
were hung in linen bags over my bed. They accommodated themselves to this 
with such success that in the mornings they would only defaecate after I 
opened the bags. But the droppings were again as they had been in the nest- 
ing stage. 

On the 19th day the young left the nest. They moved around on the ground 
with quick hops as do adults. (Young in general seem to spend the first few 
weeks mostly on the ground. Those which I encountered in the Ankaratras 
in December, when disturbed, quickly flew into the canopy, descending 
again to the floor when it seemed safe to do so.) On the 24th day the first 
attempt was made to pick up ants from the ground; by that time they were 
able to fly some distance with ease, and even make turns in mid-air. The first 
attempt to catch an insect in flight was made on the 30th day. By the 40th 
they were dismembering grasshoppers and earthworms, and within a few 
days had become self-supporting, although begging did not completely 
disappear until the fourth month. 

On leaving the nest, the male can be identified by the vivid red tail, and the 
brighter lemon-yellow soles and orange gape (in the female the gape and 
soles are by contrast pale white, this contrast being a widespread feature in 
the genus as a whole, at all ages). By the 40th day, when the wings and tail 
had attained their full length, sexual dimorphism becomes further marked by 
the start of the growth of the axillaries, orange in the male, white tinged 
yellow in the female. Moult out of the juvenile dress started about the 120th 
day, on the underparts and nape, reaching its climax in the fifth month and 
ending early in the sixth. The subadult male has the full colour of the adult. 
The latter has apparently only one moult a year, and there is no marked 

151 



seasonal difference in plumage in M. sharpei. However, subadults can be 
distinguished from adults quite easily. This is because in the juvenile dress 
the greater wing-coverts have buffy apical markings and the secondaries pale 
buffy edges. These feathers, together with the primaries, axillaries and 
rectrices, are not changed in the post-juvenile moult. 

I was obliged to cut-back the primaries of my hand-reared young of M. 
sharpei (and also those of young Copsychus albospecularis pica obtained at an 
early stage of the expedition), in order to prevent their escape. Also, owing 
to crowded cages and constant travelling, some tail-feathers were broken. 
After my return to my home in South Africa, I left these feathers alone, 
hoping that I could gradually remove them. But to my surprise, when the 
moult came, all the damaged primaries and rectrices were replaced in a 
natural way, while the undamaged ones were retained. A few other hand- 
reared M . imerina and C. a. inexpectatus which I collected at a later stage of the 
expedition, and which escaped cutting or damage, moulted normally; i.e., 
they retained all their remiges and rectrices. Thus it seems that functional 
inadequacy caused by damage as described above can induce premature 
moulting in the young. 

DEVELOPMENT OF VOICE AND BEHAVIOUR PATTERNS 

Adults of M. sharpei warn with a quiet "hjutt-tock-tock". Such notes can 
also be heard sometimes separately. The "hjutt" was first heard from the 
young on the 1 8th day, when they were frightened by a sudden movement on 
my part. The "tock" was first heard on the 21st day, and accompanied by a 
bow. A distress-call, the shriek already referred to, was also first heard on the 
21st day. The displeasure-call, a staccato "kerrr-errr", was only first heard on 
the 117th day; on the same day the social-call was also first heard — a gentle 
"weed", repeated at longer intervals, serving as mutual contact between the 
sexes, and often heard during the field observations. 

First attempts at subsong were made on the 17th day, while sleeping in the 
nest. The throats of the young pulsated, and a few weak inarticulate notes 
were heard. On the 20th day they sang while awake. Thereafter the daily 
amount of time spent in this exercise gradually increased, but even by the 
40th day there had been no increase in volume. The rasping, guttural 
double tones, so typical of the rehearsed songs of all Monticola spp. (Greenewalt 
1968), were first heard on the 59th day, increasing graduallv so that about the 
1 30th day they had become a general feature of the song of these two young. 
During the seventh month subsong was completely superseded by the re- 
hearsed song, which in adults of the genus is the prevailing form of song in 
the off-season, though it can also be heard in the breeding season, restricted 
to the hottest time of day. This rehearsed song in M. sharpei is always of a 
very low volume, although rich in the aforementioned guttural notes and in 
imitations. Development of motij 'or primary song also started at an early stage. 
On the 64th day one of the young burst into a few, very loud tones (a car had 
started near us); on the 90th day they repeatedly sang at dusk a few semi-loud 
motifs, and on the 120th day, again at dusk, they rendered a few short 
melodies. By the 280th day their melodies were in no way inferior to those of 
adult males; the volume of their primary song remained, however, generally 
low with a marked daily peak at dusk, until about the 350th day, when the 
volume of song increased considerably within a few days, heralding the 
onset of reproductive activity. There is a marked difference in the primary 
songs of at least M. s. erythronotus and M. s. sharpei, which, if this were 

152 



considered alone, could suffice to regard them as specifically distinct. The 
repertoire oi erythronotus consists of a dozen or so highly stereotyped melodies 
while that of the nominate race is wider and characterized by a measure of 
variation between individuals. Singing at dusk is typical of both races, but I 
never heard singing at night. 

As regards the function of primary song in M. sharpei, the above features 
distinguish the territory song of the races erythronotus and sharpei. Like so many 
other features, the song of salomonseni awaits investigation. The signal song, 
being only a shortened form of territory song, serves warning purposes in 
both races. The limited song-repertoire of females was only heard in this 
context; thus as soon as I approached a fledged young, it was mainly the 
female which uttered a few weak signal-motifs, coupled with the staccato 
note of displeasure and threatening postures. 

The courtship song can be directed by the male either at a female or another 
encroaching male. In either case it is co-ordinated with courtship/self- 
asserting postures, and consists entirely of tonal material peculiar to the 
species but with an unmistakeable similarity to the courtship songs of other 
Monticola spp. In the young it was first heard on the 196th day. 

Both the nominate race and erythronotus can imitate. But, while erythronotus 
does only in the rehearsed song, sharpei imitates in both the rehearsed and 
territory songs. They imitate only the calls, never the songs, of other birds. 
The first imitation was heard on the 131st day. It was of the call of Malaco- 
notus ^eylonus, a common species around my home in the Cape. The reper- 
toire was further enlarged on the 196th day by imitation oiParus afer; after 
the juvenile moult, calls of Nectar ini a famosa, Prinia maculosa and Spreo hicolor 
were added. On the 220th day imitation was heard of Hartlaubius auratus and 
Tchitra mutata, and in the following weeks of Coracopsis vasa and Nesiilas 
typica, which had last been heard some five months previously while still in 
Madagascar. 

In addition to begging as described above, other fixed action patterns 
became apparent, in sequence as follows: — The twitching of the folded wings is 
only a gentle movement of the remiges including the primaries. It was first 
observed in sleeping nestlings only 16 days old. On leaving the nest, a slow 
tilting of the folded tail (up to ca. 30 degrees) was noted. While wing-twitching 
can be repeated several times in quick succession, tail-tilting is always a 
single movement. On the 9 1 st day tivitching of the folded tail was noted — a 
very quick spreading-and-folding of the rectrices. It is not very conspicuous 
because only the two outermost pairs of feathers are used in this scissor-like 
movement. It can be repeated, but only after a long interval. The tail can also 
be completely spread (fanned) and remain in this position for a while. Finally, 
the fanned tail can also be twitched by a very swift folding-and-spreading of the 
two outermost pairs of feathers only. 

Two variations of head-movement were also noted in M . sharpei. On one, 
the head is pointed motionless towards the opponent, and the neck somewhat 
intracted. In the other, the head is tossed rhythmically to the left-straight 
ahead-to the right, thence back to straight ahead. In both variations the head 
feathers are kept firmly depressed. 

The sole intention movement is performed immediately on leaving the nest. 
The clumsily hopping young, attaining some elevated point, assumes an 
upright stance and makes a single, lazy bow synchronized with wing- 
twitching and tail-tilting. In great excitement only, this intention move- 
ment can be repeated twice or thrice in quick succession. The interesting 

153 



point is that this movement soon fades away with age; adults seldom so 
perform. 

Interspecific aggressiveness was first noted on the 38th day, i.e. playful 
chasing of a fledged Copsjchus albospecularis. On the 43 rd day the first action 
of intraspecific aggressiveness followed. On the 5 9th with all feathers de- 
pressed and the body erect, the young showed the first greeting ceremony; the 
head pointed slightly upwards and the bill slightly open, a rapid subsong was 
uttered. From this juvenile posture the courtship display was gradually 
evolved. 

On the 96th day the first threatening posture was noted; the feathers on the 
mantle, back and lower breast somewhat bristled, the head pointed stiffly 
towards the opponent, the wings and tail twitched synchronously at irregular 
intervals and a few warning calls uttered (this posture was observed in both 
sexes). Soon thereafter followed a stage of development when the young 
often showed ambivalent threatening and greeting postures while singing 
primitive courtship songs. From these elements first on the 280th day the 
self-asserting posture ("imponieren") and then on the 300th day the courtship 
display evolved. In the self-asserting posture all the feathers are depressed, 
and the tail widely spread and either titled up (if the male stays on the floor), 
or pressed down (if on a branch). In either position the tail is also twitched 
repeatedly. The head is tossed rhythmically, and a few sharp whistles uttered 
(cf. M. rupestris and M. angolensis, in Farkas 1962, 1968). If self-asserting 
is performed on the floor, the male runs around with clumsy steps ; if on a 
branch or other perch, he makes several turns, showing himself off alternately 
from the front and the back to his opponents (males), which keep their dis- 
tance. The courtship display is almost the same except that it is accompanied 
by a courtship song typically mingled with "tock-tock's" and mimicry. If the 
male performs on the floor, he again runs around the female. 

AC KNOWLEDGEMENTS 

The present paper is the third in a series of studies on Madagascar thrushes 
(for the first two, see Farkas 1971, 1972), a project which has been fully and 
most generously supported by a grant from the Frank M. Chapman Memorial 
Fund of the American Museum of Natural History. During the visits to Mt. 
d'Ambre, the Ankara tra Mountains and Perinet I enjoyed the assistance and 
hospitality of the Department des Eaux et Forets of the Government of the 
Malagasy Republic and of the O.R.S.T.O.M., Tananarive. Father Otto 
Appert, C. W. Benson (particularly), Professor J. Berlioz and G. S. Keith 
kindly provided me with valuable information while preparing the manu- 
script. I am most grateful for all their support. 

SUMMARY 

The status of the polytypic Monticola sharpei is reviewed, and a diagnosis 
given of its lowland race. In support, details of morphology, distribution and 
habitat preference are compared for the three subspecies so far known. The 
possibility of the existence of a fourth one is also mentioned. While in plu- 
mage, breeding season, habitat preference, primary song, nest and choice of 
site thereof, and timing of moult, there are certain divergences between the 
subspecies, as regards eggs and clutch-size, incubation, care of offspring, 
fixed action patterns, and calls and rehearsed songs, there seem to be no 
marked differences. 

154 



References : 

Farkas, T. 1962. Zur biologie und ethologie der siidafrikanischen arten der gattung 
Monticola (Boie). II. Teil: Monticola rupestris L. Die Vogelwelt 83: 161-173. 

— 1968. Zur biologie und ethologie der Angola-Waldmerle, Monticola angolensis Sousa. 
Rev. Zool. Bot. Afr. 77: 162-189. 

— 1 97 1. Monticola bensoni, a new species from south-western Madagascar. Ostrich, suppl. 
9: 83-90. 

— 1972. Copsychus albo specular is winterbottomi, a new subspecies from the south-east of 
Madagascar. Ostrich 43: 228-230. 

Goodwin, D. 1956. Note on the genus Pseudocossyphus Sharpe. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 76: 
143-144. 

Gray, G. R. 1871. On a new species oiCaprimulgus. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (4)8: 428-429. 

Greenewalt, C. H. 1968. Bird song: acoustics and physiology. Washington, D. C. : Smiths. Inst. 

Hall, B. P. & Moreau, R. E. 1970. An atlas of speciation in African passerine birds. London: 
Brit. Mus. (Nat. Hist.) 

Hartlaub, G. i860. Systematische uebersicht der vogel Madagascars. II. Journ. Ornith. 8: 
81-112. 

Lister, M. D. 1953. Secondary song of some Indian birds, fourn. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 
52:1-40. 

Milne-Edwards, A. & Grandidier, A. 1879. Hi stoire physique, naturelle et politique de Mada- 
gascar. 12. Paris: Imprimerie Nationale. 

Neifeldt, I. 1966. The wood "Rock-thrushes". Biol. Ptici Trudi Zool. Inst. Nauk. Leningrad 
39: 120-184. 

Rand, A. L. 1936. The distribution and habits of Madagascar birds. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. 
Hist. 72(5): 143-499- 

Ripley, S. D. 1964. Family Muscicapidae : Subfamily Turdinae, Thrushes. In Check-list of 
birds of the world. 10: 13-272. Cambridge, Mass.: Mus. Comp. Zool. 

Salomonsen, F. 1934. On a hitherto unknown fauna of montane birds in central Mada- 
gascar. Nov. Zool. 39: 207-215. 

Sharpe, R. B. 1871. Contributions to the ornithology of Madagascar. II. Proc. Zool. Soc. 
Lond: 313-320. 

Warren, R. L. M. & Harrison, C. J. O. 1971. Type-specimens of birds in the British Museum 
{Natural History). 2. London: Brit. Mus. (Nat. Hist.) 



The natal pterylosis of the Swallow-tanager 

by Charles T. Collins 

Received 3rd July, 1973 

The natal pterylosis of passerine birds has received some attention in North 
America (Wetherbee 1957, 1958) and more recently in South Africa (Markus 
1 971). However, such information is nearly lacking for the vast assemblage 
of Neotropical birds, other than unquantifled field observations included in 
various life history studies and brief quantified observations made on two 
species of tanagers (Collins 1963). Data are particularly lacking for species, 
as the Swallow-tanager Tersina viridis, which make up some of the smaller 
and distinctive taxa inhabiting this region. Until recently this distinctive 
fruit eating Neotropical species has been placed in the monotypic family 
Tersinidae. More recently (Storer 1970) it, and the tanagers of the closely 
related family Thraupidae, have been relegated to subfamilial status within 
the more inclusive family Emberizidae. However, Sibley (1970, 1973) con- 
sidered Tersina to be only a distinctive genus in the tribe Thraupini and 
probably most closely related to Thraupis and Tangara. 

The information presented here on the natal pterylosis of Tersina viridis 
was obtained principally from eight preserved specimens of young birds. All 
were collected by me in the vicinity of the Estacion Biologica de Rancho 
Grande, Est. Aragua, Venezuela during the spring of 1972, and are referable 

155 



to T. v. occidentatis. Of these eight, five were very small nestlings (Stage A, 
see Wetherbee 1957: 356) and three were late stage embryos removed from 
eggs which expectedly would have hatched within a day or two. The ad- 
ditional data from three nestlings w T hich were examined in the field before 
being returned to the nest are incomplete in that the small neossoptiles of 
the ventral tract, secondaries and rectrices were overlooked and thus not 
recorded. The data from all other tracts have been included since they are in 
close agreement with the more detailed counts made on the preserved 
specimens. 

The total number of neossoptiles varied from a low of 77 to a high of 107 
per bird. However, four of the eight specimens had from 101 to 103 neos- 
soptiles and thus a typical number of 102 can be assigned to the species based 
on this and the number most frequently observed for each individual tract. 
As discussed later, two tracts were exceptionally variable and for one of these 
the numerical average was used since there was no single typical number for 
the tract. The total number of neossoptiles is given in Table 1, and the 
distribution of these neossoptiles in Tersina is given in Table 2. 

Table 1. Total number of neossoptiles 

Species Number Total number of 

of specimens neossoptiles 

Tanagra (E upborn a) violacea 1 32* 

Thraupis palm arum 2 184-224* 

Piranga olivacea 2 227** 

Tersina viridis 8 102 (77-107) 
* from Collins (1963) 
** from Wetherbee (1958) 

Table 2. Counts of neossoptiles of Tersina viridis 
Tract Number of neossoptiles 





Minimum 


Typical 


Maximum 


Coronal 


3 


4 


6 


Occipital 


4 


4 


5 


Humeral 


6 


8 


10 


Spinal (upper) 


4 


5 


7 


Spinal (lower)** 


2 


8* 


12 


Femoral 


4 


7 


8 


Ventral 





6(5*) 


9 


Secondary 





1 


1 


Secondary Coverts 


4 


6 


7 


Caudal 


6 


6 


6 



* numerical average to nearest whole number 
** unpaired tract along midline; all others paired 

The only previous information on the natal pterylosis of Tersina is the 
statement by Schaefer (1953: 439) that they have "sparse natal down". The 
down of all of the specimens examined in this study appeared to be uniformly 
whitish or greyish-white, whereas Schaefer reported it to be "of the same 
yellowish-pink color as the rest of the body, giving the skin a peculiar light 
golden hue". This discrepancy is not easily resolved as both studies were 
conducted in the immediate vicinity of the Estacion Biologica de Rancho 
Grande. 

The number of neossoptiles for each tract usually varied within rather 
narrow limits and was constant or nearly so in some. Exceptions to this were 
the lower midline portion of the spinal tract and the ventral tract. In the 
former case the great variation (2 to 12 neossoptiles) made the choice of a 
typical number impossible and the average number was utilized. In the case 
of the ventral tract four specimens had four, five or seven neossoptiles but 
others had less (in one case none) and one had nine. A compromise number 

156 



would seem to be six: a value not actually observed in any specimen. The 
average number of neossoptiles in the ventral tract of all specimens was five. 
If this average value is used as the typical number for the tract the typical total 
count for the species would be reduced to ioo, a value slightly less than the 
most frequently observed total. Thus the choice of six as the typical number 
for this tract seems more appropriate. The neossoptiles from most tracts 
were of medium length as compared to those of other species. However, the 
neossoptiles of the ventral tract, secondaries and rectrices were very short 
(1-2 mm) and, as mentioned above, overlooked in the course of field ob- 
servations of one brood of nestlings. The total number of neossoptiles is 
noticeably less than for two of the three species of tanagers for which data 
are available (Table i). Both of the species of tanagers having higher total 
counts of neossoptiles build normal open nests while Tersina nests in bur- 
rows (Schaefer 1953) and Tanagra (Euphonia) violacea builds a compact domed 
nest. Further information is needed on a wider array of tanagers and their 
allies (Collins unpublished) before much weight can be given to this seeming 
correlation between "cavity" nesting and a reduction in number and dis- 
tribution of neossoptiles. 

Acknowledgements : The specimens of Tersina utilized in this study were 
collected as part of a continuing programme of study of Neotropical birds 
supported by research grants from The Frank M. Chapman Memorial Fund 
of the American Museum of Natural History, New York. I am indebted to 
Dr. Gonzalo Medina Padilla for permission to stay at Rancho Grande and 
for the permit to collect material for this study. Manuscript preparation was 
aided by a Summer Faculty Fellowship from the California State University, 
Long Beach Foundation. 

References : 

Collins, C. T. 1963. The natal pterylosis of tanagers. Bird-Banding 34: 36-38. 

Markus, M. B. 1970. A preliminary survey of the occurrence of neossoptiles in South 

African passeriform birds, with special reference to natal pterylosis. M.S. Thesis, Univ. 

of Pretoria (available from Univ. Microfilms, Ann Arbor, Mich., U.S.A.; Masters 

Abstr. 9[ 3 ], 1971). 
Schaefer, E. 1953. Contribution to the life history of the Swallow Tanager. Auk 70: 403- 

460. 
Sibley, C. G. 1970. A comparative study of the egg-white proteins of passerine birds. Bull. 

Peabody Mus. Nat. Hist. 32: 1-131. 

— 1973. The relationship of the Swallow-tanager Tersina viridis. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 93: 

75-79- 
Storer, R. W. 1970. Subfamilies Thraupinae and Tersininae. In Check-list of birds of the world. 

13. Cambridge, Mass.: Mus. Comp. Zool. 
Wetherbee, D. K. 1957. Natal plumages and downy pteryloses of passerine birds of North 

America. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 113: 339-436. 

— 1958. New descriptions of natal pterylosis of various bird-species. Bird-Banding 29: 
232-236. 

A small collection of birds from Muara Island, 
north Borneo 

by Kenneth IV. Prescott 

Received 1 6th July \ 19J) 

Reading Max C. Thompson's account (1966) of birds which he had collected 
on north Borneo caused me to refer to my notes concerning a small group of 
specimens which I had collected from Muara Island, north Borneo in June 
and July 1945. At first reading, it appeared that he had collected most of the 

157 



species on the eastern coast of north Borneo but not all that I had found off 
the west coast. Recent comparison of my Muara birds with specimens at the 
American Museum of Natural History and with those at the United States 
National Museum disclosed a new subspecies of iora (Prescott 1970b), a 
kingfisher race new to Borneo (Prescott 1970a) and an important record of 
the Stork-billed Kingfisher in Borneo (Prescott 1972). It seems advisable, 
even after such a long post-collecting period, to cause a brief account of this 
small collection, the only known (to me) from Muara, to be added to the 
literature. 

Muara is a small island in Brunei Bay located off the north-west coast of 
Borneo just north of the Sarawak boundary, at approximately 5°N longitude 
and 1 1 5 °E latitude. Collecting was carried out with the co-operation of the 
United States Navy as the writer was then serving as Executive Officer of the 
U.S.S. Jamestown, AGP-3. The specimens, made up as skins, are in the col- 
lection of the Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan (UMMZ), Ann 
Arbor, Michigan. The following species account is based on field notes of 
three brief collecting trips made during morning hours. 

Treron curvirostra nasica, Thick-billed Green Pigeon: Specimen, 1: juv., 
sex(?), 17th July 1945, UMMZ 114,000. Several were observed on the ground 
and in thick bushy undergrowth, two or three feet high, alongside a small 
fresh- water stream about 50 feet from the ocean beach. They were shy and 
when frightened flew a short distance upstream to the protection of similar 
bushy growth. Thompson (1966: 395) collected T. c. curvirostra and Smythies 
(1968: 232) gives T. c. curvirostra as resident throughout Borneo although 
questioning if this subspecies is recognizable as the form on Banggi and 
Balambangan Islands. 

Halycon chloris co/Iaris, White-collared Kingfisher: Specimens, 2: male and 
female, 17th July 1945, UMMZ 113,926 and 113,927. The only two seen 
were collected near the ocean shore ; the female from a tall deciduous tree and 
the male from low second growth. These are the first recorded specimens 
from Borneo (Prescott 1970). Thompson (1966: 401) collected H. c. chlorop- 
tera and this is the race reported by Smythies (1968: 308-310) as resident 
throughout Borneo in coastal areas and estuaries, and a familiar garden bird 
in Brunei. It is of interest that Smythies (Joe. cit) found evidence of seasonal 
movement for H. c. chloroptera, i.e. being present during the breeding season 
(January-August) in the west coast Kimanis Bay area just above the range of 
the Stork-billed Kingfisher but absent thereafter. Although I did not see H. 
c. ch/oroptera, my specimens were taken from the same general locality in 
which I took a Stork-billed Kingfisher. 

Pelargopsis capensis innominata, Stork-billed Kingfisher : Specimen, 1 : sex 
(?), nth June 1945, UMMZ 114,018. This specimen has already been fully 
commented on by Prescott (1972: 160). 

Lalage nigra scbisticeps, Pied Triller: Specimens, 2: male and female (?), 
17th and 19th July, UMMZ 113,994 and 113,995. Both specimens were taken 
from low lying bushy, second growth. The species was seen but not taken 
by Thompson (1966: 416). Smythies (1968: 380) describes L. n. nigra as the 
race in Borneo and the north Bornean Islands and Maratuas. Chasen & Kloss 
(1930: 60) collected eight specimens of L. n. nigra on an island lying off the 
north-eastern coast of Borneo. 

Aegithina tiphia trudiae, Common Iora: Specimens 4: two males and two 
females, 17th and 19th July 1945, UMMZ 113,996 through 133,999. This 
group represents a new race (Prescott 1970b: 39-40). Thompson (1966: 420) 
collected individuals of A. v. viridissima in south Borneo and Sarawak and 

158 



A. t. aequanimis in north Borneo and Palawan. However, Smythies (1968: 
387-388) gives A. t. viridis for south Borneo and Sarawak, A. t. aequanimis 
for north Borneo with the boundary between it and viridis coinciding roughly 
with the "Sarawak-British North Borneo" boundary. 

Anthreptes malacensis bornensis, Brown-throated Sunbird: Specimens, 6: 
four females and two males, nth June, 17th and 19th July 1945, UMMZ 
114,002 to 114,006 also 114,019. All were collected from flowering bushes 
in low second growth at the edge of a cleared area. Individuals returned to 
the same area several minutes after a shot was fired and were in company 
with Aethopyga s. siparaja. Thompson (1966: 427) also collected this species. 
Smythies (1968: 492-493) gives A. m. bornensis for north Borneo including 
the north Bornean islands and A. m. malacensis for south Borneo and the 
Karimatas. 

Aethopyga s. siparaja, Yellow-backed Sunbird : Specimen, 1 : male, 1 7th 
July 1945, UMMZ 114,007. In company with the last species, several were 
seen in the flowering bushes at the edge of a clearing. They were extremely 
shy and difficult to approach. Smythies (1968 : 498-499) describes the species 
as a common resident in the lowlands of the main island of Borneo, Banggi 
Island, the Maratuas and Karimatas. However, Thompson (1966: 428) 
described three siparaja individuals taken at Tawau which he noted as having 
darker wings than others of the race. 

Dicaeum trigono stigma, Orange-bellied Flowerpecker: Specimen, 1: juv., 
female (?), 17th July 1945, UMMZ 114,001. Collected from the flowering 
bushes at the wood's edge with the two sunbirds (above). Identification of 
this juvenile to subspecies is uncertain. Thompson (1966: 431) collected one 
specimen of V. t. dayakanum. Smythies (1968: 487) gives D. t. trigonostigma 
from the Karimatas and D. t. dayakanum from the main island of Borneo. 

Acknowledgements : I am grateful to Max C. Thompson and Robert W. 
Storer who kindly read an early draft of this note and made critical suggest- 
tions; moreover, the latter kindly loaned the UMMZ Muara specimens. I 
shall always be indebted to the late Josselyn Van Tyne who encouraged me 
to make the South Pacific collections. 

References : 

Chasen, F. N. & Boden Kloss, C. 1930. On a collection of birds from the lowlands and 

islands of north Borneo. Bull. Raffles. Mus. 4: 1-112. 
Prescott, Kenneth W. 1970a. A kingfisher new to Borneo. Auk 87: 586. 

— 1970b. A new subspecies of the Common Iora from north Borneo. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 
90: 39-40. 

— 1972. Pelargopsis capensis innominata in north Borneo. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 92: 159-160. 
Smythies, B. E. 1968. The birds of Borneo. 2nd. ed. Edinburgh & London: Oliver & Boyd. 
Thompson, Max C. 1966. Birds from north Borneo. Univ. Kansas Publ. 17(8). 

Coracina papuensis in Indonesia 

by C. M. N. White 

Received 20th August, iyj) 
Coracina papuensis is a cuckoo shrike which ranges from Australia and New 
Guinea to the Solomon Islands and the eastern Indonesian Archipelago. 
In the last area Peters (i960: 1 79-1 81) lists two forms: melanolora Gray in the 
northern Moluccas, and timorlaoensis Meyer in the Tenimber Islands. 
Melanolora hardly merits recognition as it is like the nominate form of west 
and north New Guinea but averages larger. Mees (1972: 81-82) has most 
recently pointed out that it is an extremely poor subspecies. In the case of 

159 



timorlaoensis the distribution given is incomplete and the validity of the 
subspecies questionable. 

Meyer described timorlaoensis 'in 1884 from two specimens from the Tenim- 
ber Islands, both females. No other collector has obtained it there, including 
Kiihn who made a considerable collection there at the end of 1900 and in 
early 1901. Finsch (1901: 250) listed a female from Kisar collected by 
Schadler on 4th December 1897, and still in the Leiden Museum. Finsch 
identified this as the north Australian form hypoleuca, of which he considered 
timorlaoensis a synonym. He also reported a female from Great Kei collected 
on 23rd May 1865 by Hoedt, which he likewise identified as hypoleuca. Kiihn 
made large collections in the South- West Islands, including Kisar, but the 
only occasion when the species was found was in June 1906, when two fe- 
males were collected on Sermatta. Hartert (191 1: 166) identified these as 
timorlaoensis with a query and a remark that it was doubtful if the form could 
be distinguished from hypoleuca. Kiihn also made large collections in the Kei 
Islands where he did not obtain the species. Van Bemmel (1948) overlooked 
the Great Kei record, and Peters (i960) has overlooked it and also the records 
from Kisar and Sermatta. 

Thus there is little to support the existence of a distinct subspecies, 
timorlaoensis, in the Tenimber Islands. Rather there are a few scattered 
records, all of females, from Tenimber, Great Kei, Sermatta and Kisar which 
seem identical with north Australian hypoleuca. Indeed they are perhaps only 
occasional nomadic migrants, as the dates in May and June, the Australian 
winter, may indicate. The December record in that case is peculiar. In the 
Northern Territory in Australia hypoleuca is known to breed from November 
to January. 

I am grateful to Dr. G. F. Mees for information about the specimens in 
the Leiden Museum, and for discussing the question dealt with in this note. 

References : 

Bemmel, A. C. V. van. 1948. A faunal list of the birds of the Moluccan islands. Treubia 19: 

323-402. 
Finsch, O. 1901. Systematiche uebersicht der vogel der Sudwest Inseln. Notes Leyden Mus. 

22: 225-309. 
Hartert, E. 191 1. On the birds of Sermatta. Nov. Zool. 18: 161-167. 
Mees, G. F. 1972. Die vogel der Insel Gebe. Zool. Meded. 46: 69-89. 
Peters, J. L. i960. In Check-list of birds of the world. 9. Cambridge, Mass.: Mus. Comp. 

Zool. 



Vachycoccyx audeberti: some addenda 

by C. W. Benson & AL P. Stuart Irwin 

Received 1 8 th fitly, 1973 
We (1972, Arnoldia, Rhodesia 5(33): 24 pp.) detailed what is known about the 
distribution, biology and systematics of this cuckoo. A few points worth 
mention have come to light subsequently. 

On p. 3 we drew attention to its sparseness, both in Africa and in Mada- 
gascar. Further emphasis to this is lent by the fact that in the original des- 
cription of nominate audeberti (Schlegel 1879, Notes Leyden Mus. 1 : 99) it was 
reported that the example collected by Audebert was the only one met with 
in the course of two years in north-eastern Madagascar. 

On p. 8 we were un able to accept a record of parasitisation of the Violet- 
backed Starling Cinnyricinclus leucogaster (see originally Neuby-Varty 1946, 

160 



Ostrich 17: 345). Neuby-Varty gave the measurements of the egg claimed to 
be of this cuckoo as 25 x 18 mm. The Rev. Dr. William Serle (pers. comm.) 
has pointed out that the colour, markings and si%e are correct for C. leuco- 
gaster, and that it is most unlikely to be an egg of Pachycoccyx. Furthermore, 
as he writes, the broken egg of this cuckoo reported by Fischer & Reichenow 
(1879, J ourn - Ornith. 27: 341) (see our p. 6) was only slightly longer but no 
wider than an egg of Euplectes flammiceps (=hordeaceus). McLachlan & Liver- 
sidge (1970, Roberts birds of South Africa, 3rd ed., Cape Town: John Voelcker 
Bird Book Fund: 564), for instance, give an average measurement for the 
egg of E. hordeaceus as 1 8 • 5 x 13-8 mm only. Indeed so far the only proven 
host is the Red-billed Helmet Shrike Prionops retail. 

We regret that on p. 14 no acknowledgement was made to Dr. Kenneth C. 
Parkes, Curator of Birds at the Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh. He most 
kindly lent Benson the specimen in that museum (p. 19). See p. 20, Dr. J. 
Steinbacher reports that there is no specimen in the Natur-Museum und 
Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg, Frankfurt. 

We did not use a male in the Transvaal Museum from "Chambere, G. E. 
Afr., 24.9.03, J. V. O. Marais", since we could not trace this locality (p. 19). 
However, Mrs. M. K. Rowan and Dr. A. C. Kemp have drawn our attention 
to a note by Roberts (1935, Ostrich 6: 48), in which he discusses the specimen 
in that museum from the Olifants River, 16th July 1934, and another one 
therein from "near Bagamoyo, Tanganyika Territory". Evidently Roberts 
had knowledge of the history of this specimen, not recorded on the label, 
and it may reasonably be presumed to be one and the same as the Chambere 
specimen. We have still been unable to trace Chambere on any map, but it 
can be accepted as being near Bagamoyo, in coastal Tanzania, and whence we 
recorded (p. 18) a specimen in the Museum of Comparative Zoology, 
Harvard. The Chambere specimen was examined by Irwin. Although Roberts 
found the difference between it and the Olifants River specimen "quite 
pronounced", and attributed the former to P. a. validus (Reichenow), the 
latter to P. a. canescens Vincent, we attribute both to validus, of which 
canescens is a synonym, and founded on a specimen in very fresh dress (see 
our p. 12). The Chambere specimen has wing 217, tail 182, culmen from base 
29 mm. 

Dr. Kemp reports that the Transvaal Museum has recently received a 
female specimen collected by O. P. M. Prozesky at Croc Ranch, Phalaborwa 
area, eastern Transvaal, at 23°5 5'S., 30°5 5'E., 1,500 ft. a.s.l., 10th September 
1972; wing 242, tail 202, culmen from base 27- 3 mm. Also, Kemp himself saw 
an individual on the farm Charleston, eastern Transvaal, at 24^ 3'S., 3 1°3 5'E., 
1,000 ft. a.s.l., 1 2th July 1973. It was moving steadily from tree to tree in dry 
leafless mixed woodland, but was not seen to feed. 



Some remarks on the Lammergeyer Gypaetus barbatus 

in East Africa 

by E. Sch'u^ 

Received 20th July, 1973 
In his interesting bird observations on the Shira Plateau and Kibo, Kiliman- 
jaro, King (1973, Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 93: 68) gives only one record of the 
Lammergeyer, an individual of which he saw on 6th November 1968. Guest 
& Leedal (1954, Tang. Notes & Recs. 36: 47), who King quotes, and who 

161 



spent two months on the mountain, never saw it. However, there are other 
records from Kilimanjaro, to which attention should be drawn. Fuggles- 
Couchman & Elliott (1946, Ibis 88: 330) saw a pair west of the Shira ridge 
on 24th October. Schiiz (1958, Altes und Neues iiber das Vorkommen des 
Bartgeiers {Gypaetus barbatus) in Ostafrika. Journ. Ornith. 99: 394-398) gives 
at least five records since 1932 from various localities on Kilimanjaro, apart 
from several by the missionary, the late Dr. Reusch. G. H. H. Brown (1963, 
Journ. E. Afr. Nat. Hist. Soc. 24: 72) gives another record — an immature 
bird which accompanied his safari on the march between the Bismarck and 
Peters Huts. So far the only material ("in the hand") evidence is from a 
feather, a secondary, found by me (Schuz 1958, op. cit.: 396) on 5th Septem- 
ber 1957 at Peters Hut (3,800 m), now in the bird exhibition rooms at Schloss 
Rosenstein (Staatl. Mus. fur Naturkunde in Stuttgart). The Game Depart- 
ment report of an immature Lammergeyer caught and photographed by 
Wilhelm von Furstenberg (foot-note in Moreau 1944, Tang. Notes <& Recs. 
18 : 48) is obscure, since Baron Furstenberg wrote to me in 1958 that he only 
had one field observation and had never possessed a specimen of this species 
or photographed it. 

As mentioned (Schuz 1958, op. cit.: 397), records of the Lammergeyer in 
East Africa are of interest as snowing a connection between the centres of 
distribution in Ethiopia in the north and the Drakensberg Mts., in Natal, in 
the south. The most southerly outlying northern (East African) record is 
from Mbeya, southern Tanzania (Moreau pers. comm. to Schiiz 1958, op. 
cit. : 397), and the most northerly outlying southern (South African) one from 
Maruma (20°2 5'S., 33 E.) on the Mozambique/Rhodesia border. The 
Maruma record is based on a specimen (Swynnerton 1908, Ibis [9] 2: 425). 
Both these records were repeated by Benson & Irwin (1963, Ardea 51 : 222). 
With regard to the Maruma one, Irwin (pers. comm., 4th August 1973) 
informed Benson that he knows of no further record from either Mozambique 
or Rhodesia, and suggested that it probably represented a migrant from 
further south. Benson has also written to me as follows: — "Despite the fact 
that ornithologically it has been well explored and documented — Belcher 
(1925, Ibis [i2]i : 797-814) and Vincent (1934, Ibis [i3]4: 126-160) are only 
random examples — I know of no record of the Lammergeyer from Mt. 
Mlanje, southern Malawi. Mlanje rises to ca. 3,000 m, the uppermost 1,000 m, 
above the montane grasslands, being bare and boulder-strewn. There is an 
excellent account of this mountain by Chapman & White (1970, The evergreen 
forests of Malawi. Oxford, Commonwealth Forestry Institute: 1 62-1 71)". 

To bring my synopsis of East African records (Schiiz 1958, op. cit.) up to 
date, the following references are relevant: — Hale (1958, Journ. E. Afr. Nat. 
Hist. Soc. 23 : 16); L. H. & G. H. H. Brown (1963, Journ. E. Afr. Nat. Hist. 
Soc. 24: 72); Paul Geraghty (1969, Animals 12: 312); Dewhurst (1971, E. 
Afr. Nat. Hist. Soc. Bull. : 133); and Gerhart (1971, E. Afr. Nat. Hist. Soc. 
Bull.: 173). Brown & Brown (1963, op. cit.) claim that their records from 
Mt. Elgon and Muruanisagar, 40 miles west of Lodwar, thus both slightly 
west of 3 5°E., appear to be a considerable westward extension of the known 
range in East Africa. However, records from the Ngorongoro Crater, in 
northernT anzania (Schiiz 1958, op. cit. : 397; Huxley & Nicholson 1963, Ibis 
105 : 106) are from almost as far west, at ca. 3 5°3o'E. 

Brief reference may be made to what little is known about the breeding 
status of the Lammergeyer in East Africa, partly based on information from 
L. H. Brown (pers. comm. to Benson, 6th September 1973). North (1948, 
Ibis 90: 1 3 8- 1 41) has given some information from Kenya, but there still 

162 



seems to be no known breeding site in Tanzania. North records an egg taken 
at a site within 50 miles of Nanyuki in May, and according to Brown the site 
was in the Loldaiga Hills, near Nanyuki. North also mentions a site within 
50 miles of Naivasha, but could not give a date for breeding. According to 
Brown a pair started to breed in the Njoroma Gorge (Hell's Gate), near 
Naivasha, in 1964, and has done so every year since, except 1971. This site 
has been visited by up to 2,000 tourists annually. Information therefrom is 
the source of what is written in Brown & Amadon (1968, Eagles ; hawks and 
falcons of the world. London, Country Life Books: 313), that egg-laying takes 
place in Kenya in January; likewise that from the Nanyuki site in May. 
North also briefly mentions a site on Mt. Kenya, and Coe (1967, Monogr. Biol. 
17. Den Haag: 108) implies that the Lammergeyer breeds on that mountain. 
There must surely be breeding sites in Tanzania and other ones in Kenya. 
Further information is required, but the most urgent necessity is protection. 
I am much indebted to C. W. Benson and Dr. L. H. Brown for their 
assistance in the finalisation of this paper. 

Organochlorine insecticide residues and food remains in 
a Bald Ibis Geronticus eremita chick from Birecik, Turkey 

by J. L. F. Par slow 

Received 24th August, 197) 

The Bald Ibis Geronticus eremita is a rare, declining species whose only known 
breeding colonies are in Morocco and on a cliff in the town of Birecik, which 
stands beside the upper Euphrates in south-east Turkey (see Smith 1970). 
The only other member of the genus is the almost equally rare G. calms (also 
known as the Bald Ibis and regarded by some authorities as conspecific with 
eremita) which is restricted to South Africa where there are about 1,000 pairs 
in 70 known breeding colonies (Siegfried 1971). The numbers of eremita are 
still decreasing. The total known population of wild birds in 1972 was only 
about 150 pairs, of which about 60 pairs bred; 26 of these nested at Birecik, 
in which area there were as many as 530 pairs in 1953, but only 130 pairs in 
1962 and 45-48 pairs in 1967 (Kumerloeve 1962, 1965, 1967; Porter 1973; 
U. Hirsch in litt.). The species is listed in the I. U.C.N. Red Data Book of 
endangered animals, and studies of its breeding ecology in Turkey have 
recently been initiated under the auspices of the World Wildlife Fund as 
part of a programme of conservation measures. These studies are being 
carried out by U. Hirsch wha (in litt.) has traced the decline to two main 
factors : first, the uncontrolled use of DDT ,dieldrin and other insecticides in 
the Birecik area by the Turkish Ministry of Health during 1958-60, which 
resulted in more than 100 Bald Ibises being found dead in 1959-60 in the 
colonies and in the fields in which the birds feed, and second, the increased 
disturbance of the colonies due to house building in the immediate vicinity. 
Kumerloeve speculated that increased cultivation along the banks of the 
Euphrates (and the consequent loss of feeding areas), as well as poisoning 
from synthetic insecticides, had caused the decline. In order to determine 
whether the synthetic organochlorine insecticides might still be having an 
effect on the birds, a chick and an egg collected in 1972 were sent to Monks 
Wood Experimental Station for analysis. This paper discusses the results and, 
because so little detailed information exists on the species' diet, also reports 
on the food remains found in the chick's stomach. 

163 



CHEMICAL ANALYSIS OF AN EGG AND CHICK 

The egg was collected from the colony by U. Hirsch, C. D. W. Savage and 
others on 4th May 1972. The contents showed no signs of embryonic 
development. The chick was seen to fall from a nest (during a quarrel with 
one of its siblings) on 15 th May 1972 and was picked up dead beneath the 
colony. It was about 10-15 days old. The egg contents and liver of the chick 
were analysed at Monks Wood for organochlorine insecticide residues using 
gas-liquid chromatography. A sample of the food remains from the stomach 
of the chick was also analysed for organochlorine residues but with negative 
results. In addition, the egg contents were analysed by atomic absorption 
spectrophotometry for certain potentially toxic metals. Determinations for 
cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) were made but were negative (levels of detection, 
ca. o- 2 ppm). Positive results are given in Table 1. 

TABLE 1 



Organochlorine and toxic metal concentrations (in parts per 
Ibis chick and egg. (ND = none detected, <o.o5 ppm; * = 


million wet weight) 
not analysed.) 


in a Bald 


pp'-DDE 


dieldrin 


mercury 
(Hg) 


copper 

(Cu) 


zinc 
(Zn) 


Egg i-8 
Chick • 4 


0-3 

ND 


o- 12 
* 


1-34 
* 


15-8 
* 



In avian tissue, DDT almost invariably metabolises to DDE, and aldrin to 
dieldrin. The finding of DDE in the egg and chick and dieldrin in the egg 
indicates that the parent birds must have been exposed, presumably through 
their prey, to DDT and aldrin/dieldrin at some stage during their life, if not 
in Turkey then on migration or in their winter quarters in north-east Africa. 
The residues found, however, are not especially high and are unlikely at these 
levels to be having serious sublethal effects — that is unless the Bald Ibis 
happens to be very much more sensitive to these materials than any other 
bird species yet tested. Certainly the concentrations recorded are equivalent 
to the normal 'background' contamination levels now present in the eggs and 
tissues of many bird species in Britain. 

The concentration of toxic metals detected in the egg are probably also 
normal. Hg is present in small quantities in virtually all British bird tissues 
and eggs, and in seabird eggs for example are normally 4 to 50 times higher 
than the levels in the Bald Ibis egg without causing any apparent adverse 
effects. Symptoms of Hg poisoning in gallinaceous species do not occur 
until liver residues reach at least 1 5 ppm (Borg et al. 1969), while reduced egg 
hatchability in the same group does not occur until tgg residues reach about 
o- 5 ppm (Fimreite et al. 1970). Cu and Zn, in trace quantities, are of course 
essential for all forms of life and the concentrations reported here are in no 
no way atypical for an avian egg. 

FOOD REMAINS IN THE CHICK 

Both Geronticus species appear to have similarly varied diets, though no 
detailed studies have been published. Various insects and other terrestrial 
invertebrates, molluscs, lizards, frogs, fish and dead small birds and mammals 
are all mentioned in the literature as prey items (e.g. Siegfried 1966, Smith 
1970, Porter 1973), while Pala (1971) found that the stomach contents of a 
Birecik adult caught on 5 th June 1969 comprised almost entirely locusts 

164 



and bush-crickets (70 % Calliptamus italicus, 2 5 % Dociostaurus maroccanus, 
5 % Tettigoniidae) plus a large, hairy spider. On dissection at Monks Wood, 
the stomach of the chick from Birecik was found to contain the fragments of 
a wide range of mainly ground-living insects. A representative sample was 
used for the organochlorine analysis (see above) and the remainder (about 
two-thirds of the total) were sent to the British Museum (Natural History) 
for identification. At least 15 different insect species were represented (48 
individuals) belonging to seven families; five crustacean claws were also 
present. A full list of species with minimum numbers of individuals of each 
is given in Table 2. 

TABLE 2 
Food remains in the gizzard of a Bald Ibis chick from Birecik 



Species 


Min. no. of 
individuals 


Gryllopalpidae (mole-crickets) 




Gryllotalpa gryllotalpa (L.) adults : 


4 


nymphs : 


11 


Formicinae (ants) 




Messor sp. 


1 


Camponotus sp. 


11 


Tenebrionidae (nocturnal ground beetles) 




Amnodeis }confluens Mill. 


1 


Adesmia procera Mill. 


1 


Pimelia bajula Klug 


5 


indet. sp. (small) 


1 


Carabidae (ground beetles) 




Zabrus rotundicollis (Men.) 


2 


Scarites sp. 


1 


Buprestidae (jewel beetles) 




Julodis onopordi (F.) 


2 


Scaraboidae (chafer and dung beetles) 




Copris ?hispanus L. 


3 


}Scarabaeus sp. 


2 


indet. (2 spp.) 


2 


Curculionidae (weevils) 




indet. sp. 


1 


Crustacea 




indet. no. of claws : 


5 



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 

Colleagues at Monks Wood Experimental Station — M. C. French, A. A. 
Bell and Dr. R. C. Welch — were responsible for the chemical analyses and 
other technical assistance, and Peter Hammond at the British Museum 
(Natural History) identified the prey remains from the chick; U. Hirsch and 
C. D. W. Savage made valuable comments on an earlier draft of this paper. 
I am grateful to them all. 

References : 

Borg, K., Wanntorp, H., Erne, K. & Hanko, E. 1969. Alkyl mercury poisoning in ter- 
restrial Swedish wildlife. Viltrepy 6: 301-379. 

Fimreite, N., Fyfe, R. W. & Keith, J. A. 1970. Mercury contamination of Canadian prairie 
seed-eaters and their avian predators. Can. Fid Nat. 84: 269-276. 

Kumerloeve, H. 1962. Zur geschichte der Waldrapp-kolonie in Birecik am oberen Euphrat. 
Journ. Ornith. 103: 389-398. 

— 1965. Zur situation der Waldrapp-kolonie Geronticus eremita in Birecik am Euphrat. 
Vogelwelt 86: 42-48. 

— 1967. Nouvelles donnees sur la situation de la colonie d'Ibis chevelus Geronticus 
eremita (L.) 1758 a Birecik sur l'Euphrate (Turquie). Alauda 35 : 194-202. 

165 



Pala, Sukru. 1971. Faydali kuslarimizdan ( Geronticus — Comatibis — erewita L.) — ozellikleri, 

yasayisi ve beslenmesi. Tabiat ve Insan 5 : 14-22. 
Porter, R. 1973. The disappearing ibis. Birds 4: 227-228. 
Siegfried, W. R. 1966. The Bald Ibis. Bokmakierie 18: 54-57. 
— 1971- The status of the Bald Ibis of southern Africa. Biol. Conserv. 3: 88-91. 
Smith, K. D. 1970. The Waldrapp Geronticus eremita (L.). Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 90: 18-24. 



Nesting of Verreaux's Eagle Aquila verreauxi in Zambia 
by J. F. R. Colebrook- Robjent <& T. 0. Osborne 

Received 29th August, 1973 

The breeding of Aquila verreauxi is well known from Tanzania, Malawi and 
Rhodesia, but has not so far been recorded from Zambia. In Benson et al. 
(1971) there are sight records of this eagle from rocky hills in the Eastern and 
Northern Provinces. It has recently been seen by R. J. Dowsett and Cole- 
brook-Robjent in the gorges below the Victoria Falls in the Southern 
Province: see the cyclostyled Bull. Zambian Orn. Soc, June 1972, 4(1): 25. 

Nyanje Hill is particularly mentioned by Benson et al., and it is from this 
area that we now record the first known nest of this eagle in Zambia. On 
nth June 1972 Colebrook-Robjent and R. Stjernstedt discovered a nest in a 
wind-hole cave about halfway up a sheer 70 m granite rock face on Mbewa 
Hill, west of Nyanje Village. One of the pair was flushed from the nest, 
which was judged to contain eggs. One of us (J. C.-R.) attempted, but did 
not reach the nest. On 19th May 1973 J. C.-R. and T. O. O. visited the same 
nest-site, and from the opposite side of a ravine we saw the eagle on the nest. 
Later T. O. O. reached the nest, which contained two eggs. The large stick 
nest almost covered the "cave" floor, measuring approximately 2- 5 wide by 
1 • 5 m high. The cup was lined with green but dry Brachystegia leaves and 
measured 45 cm across. The two bluish white eggs were fairly evenly, but 
lightly spotted, and measured 77-1 X 60 • 2, 75 • 4 x 58-4 mm. They weighed 
respectively 150 and 1 3 5 g. One was collected and proved to be almost fresh. 
The egg-white was sent to Prof. Charles Sibley of Yale University for 
analysis. 

Brown & Amadon (1968) give the average measurements of 30 eggs as 
76-9 X 58-6 mm. The peak egg-laying month in Rhodesia is May, and the 
only such record from Malawi is also for May (see Benson et al. 1964, as 
augmented for Rhodesia by Vernon 1965). 

A glance at any detailed map of the area will suggest that there are other 
pairs of Verreaux's Eagles inhabiting the scattered rocky hills along the 
southern boundary of the Eastern Province of Zambia. Similar habitat 
extends far into neighbouring Mocambique. 

References : 

Benson, C. W., Brooke, R. K., Dowsett, R. J. & Irwin, M. P. S. 1971. The birds of Zambia. 

London: Collins. 
Benson, C. W., Brooke, R. K. & Vernon, C. J. 1964. Bird breeding data for the Rhodesias 

and Nyasaland. Occ. Papers Nat. Mus. S. Rhod. 27B: 30-105. 
Brown, L. & Amadon, D. 1968. Eagles, hawks and falcons of the world. London: Country Life 

Books. 
Vernon, C. J. 1965. The 1964 Black Eagle survey in the Matopos, Rhodesia. Arnoldia 

{Rhodesia) 2(6): 9 pp. 

166 



Observations on Bradypterus carpalis and 

Brady pterus graueri 

by Ruth Trimble Chapin 

Received ist September, 1973 

(1) Bradypterus carpalis Chapin 
The original series of Bradypterus carpalis (four males; one female) was 
secured in the Uele District of the then Belgian Congo from 191 1 to 191 3 
and was described in 1916. The species was next recorded by van Someren 
(19 1 9). Apparently without knowledge of the description of carpalis, van 
Someren named his birds jokanae. Delacour (1943: 34) and Chapin (1953: 
435) consi&crz&yokanae not even subspecifically distinct from carpalis. 

For many years these were the only known specimens of this species, and 
it came to be regarded as one of the rare birds of Africa. However, Schout- 
eden (1966) recorded a specimen taken in the valley of the Akanyaru River, 
east of Butare (formerly Astrida) Rwanda; and more recently Britton & 
Harper (1969) reported collecting seven specimens of carpalis near Lake 
Kanyaboli, western Kenya. 




West Kivu volcanoes 



MumbaB J 



Nyawarongo"*/ KiW 

LwiroT^ B Rugege Forest 

Akanyaru R«J ^ ' /""' 



TANZANIA 



28 



Figure 1 : Localities of specimens of Bradypterus graueri (■) and B. carpalis (#). Open 
circle represents field observations of the latter. 



No additional specimens from the Congo (now called Republique du 
Zaire) were obtained until the species was rediscovered in a marsh near 
Lwiro, Kivu District. The sedge warblers were always of great interest to 

167 



my husband, and at every likely marsh we watched and listened for Braqyp- 
terus of any kind. At Tshibati, 6,400 ft., Kivu District, where we lived for five 
years, we found only B. baboecala centralis. But at Lwiro, more than a thousand 
feet lower in altitude, we heard on numerous occasions a distinctive chirping 
song which my husband attributed to B. carpalis. Its secretive habits always 
made it a difficult bird to observe, but it is rather easily recognized by its 
large size, dark brown upperparts, the black markings on the breast, and the 
white shoulder patch which is evident in flight. In a papyrus swamp in 
Queen Elizabeth Park, Uganda, along the Kazinga Channel, we watched 
and listened to carpalis in April 1956. In south western Uganda, just west 
of Kabale, again in papyrus at 6,200 ft., we heard the song repeatedly in 
December 1956 and again in February 1957. It was also heard many times in 
a similar area 45 miles southwest of Mbarara, at 4,800 ft., but the bird could 
not be seen. 

Eventually through the efforts of Boniface Mulimbwa, our Congolese 
assistant, eight specimens (five males ; three females) were collected from the 
marsh near Lwiro, at 5,200 ft. With Boniface we had verified the presence of 
carpalis in this marsh and directed his attention to its song. Although carpalis 
is usually associated with papyrus swamps, the habitat of the original speci- 
mens and those collected in Uganda and Kenya, the present series was taken 
from elephant grass and broad-leaved sedges. In the same marsh we also 
collected B. baboecala centralis, and its presence there provided an oppor- 
tunity to compare the calls of the two species, which are well described by 
Chapin (1953: 43 3> 436). 

When comparing the Lwiro specimens of carpalis with those of the type 
series, one can observe a difference in their appearance. The underparts of 
the Lwiro birds are whiter, and the black markings on the chest seem heavier 
and more extensive. The tone of brown on back and tail is deeper in the more 
recently collected specimens. The measurements of the Lwiro birds exceed 
those of the birds from the Uele. While the two populations seem to differ, 
the size difference is small and that in colour perhaps in part at least is the 
result of foxing. The opportunity to compare our Kivu birds with recent 
material was provided by Mr. A. D. Forbes-Watson of the National Museum 
of Kenya, who kindly sent two specimens from the Britton/Harper series 
taken at Lake Kanyaboli, Kenya. The specimens from Kenya and Lwiro are 
comparable in colour; they differ only in size. Measurements in millimetres 
follow: — 

Culmen Hindtoe 

Male Wing Tail from base Tarsus & claw 

Type series 

(Uele Distr.) 67-72 69-75 18-19 27-28 18-21-5 

Type oiyokanae 

(now in AMNH) 70 73 20 28 21 

L. Kanyaboli, Kenya 70-72 73-76 18-18-5 

Lwiro, Kivu Distr. 73-76 76-78-5 18-5-19-5 29-30 19-21 

Female 
Type series 

(Uele Distr.) 68 67 18 26 18 

L. Kanyaboli, Kenya 66-69 66-74 17-18-5 

Lwiro, Kivu District 71-73 74-76 18-19 27-5-29 19-21 

We have weights for only two of the birds taken at Lwiro: male, testes 
enlarged, 12th Dec. 1957, 27 g; female, ovary somewhat enlarged, 12th Dec. 

168 



I 95 7> 2 5 g- The measurements of the Kenya specimens are from Britton & 
Harper (1969). 

Sedge warblers like Bradypterus seem always to be in worn plumage or 
moulting, so that small differences in wing and tail measurements, such as 
these, do not justify recognition by a subspecific name. This material, how- 
ever, extends the range oi carpalis to the Kivu and establishes that its habitat 
is not exclusively papyrus. 

(2) Bradypterus graueri Neumann 

The relationship of B. graueri, carpalis, and grandis has been somewhat 
uncertain. White (i960: 430, footnote) maintained that all three are con- 
specific, with graueri as the oldest name. Britton & Harper (1969) and Britton 
(1970) have accepted his opinion by writing of carpalis as a race of graueri. 
Hall & Moreau (1962, 1970), however, following Chapin (1953) and Rand 
et al. (1959), "regard all three as distinct, though related species, forming a 
superspecies". This opinion seems to be supported by the acquisition of more 
material in recent years. 

The American Museum of Natural History, N.Y., now has three addi- 
tional specimens of graueri from near the type-locality, collected by J. P. 
Chapin just north of Alimbongo, Kivu District, at 7,200 ft.; and an adult 
male from the Rugege Forest, Rwanda, taken at 7,550 ft., 67 km west of 
Butare (formerly Astrida). Dr. A. Prigogine has secured a dozen specimens 
from the mountains west of Lake Kivu at altitudes from 7,086 to 7,546 ft. for 
the Musee Royal de l'Afrique Centrale (Schouteden 1969 and Prigogine 
in lift.). In the same museum is another specimen from the Rugege Forest, 
Rwanda (Schouteden 1969). Friedmann & Williams (1968) reported 12 
examples from the Impenetrable Forest, Uganda, secured in mist nets at 
6,750 ft. 

Although not as yet found together, graueri and carpalis occur in Rwanda 
at localities that are separated by less than 50 miles, but at different altitudes. 
The Bwindi Swamp of the Impenetrable Forest, where graueri was secured, 
is not much farther from Kabale, Mbarara, and the Kazinga Channel, where 
we have heard carpalis on several occasions. 

In its relatively longer, more graduated tail of twelve feathers, and the lack 
of a white shoulder-patch, adult graueri is unlike carpalis in appearance. 
Britton (1970) has described the immature of carpalis as having the under- 
pays "dusky brown, being especially dark on the flanks, sides of breast, 
vent and legs, and entirely lacking the adult's white centre to breast and 
belly". This contrasts markedly with the description of an immature graueri, 
quoted from Chapin's manuscript notes: "13 Aug. 1959. Prigogine sent also 
one Bradypterus graueri, male juv. (skull still soft to touch) taken at Nyawa- 
rongo [Kivu District] on 24 Feb. 1959. It looked to me at first like B. 
baboecala, because of the narrower spots on chest; but it has wing 62 mm., 
tail 70 mm., culmen to base 13 mm. It is thus too large for baboecala. The 
light superciliary line goes back behind the eye as in graueri, and it has no pale 
yellowish tinge on throat as in juvenile baboecala [our specimen from Lwiro, 
5,500 ft., 25 June 1957]. But there is the faintest suggestion of a pale yellow 
tint on lower breast. I doubt that I have ever seen a young graueri before." 
An immature male in our Kivu collection from near Alimbongo, 5 th Oct. 
1955, does retain some pale yellowish feathers on the lower abdomen, which 
is mainly white; the flank feathers are cinnamon brown. 

Dr. Prigogine has kindly arranged for me to re-examine the "subadult 
male" referred to above. It has no evidence of spots on the throat, and the 

169 



chest-markings are narrower and less pronounced than those of the young 
male in our collection. His specimen may be wrongly sexed, because the adult 
male and female (in breeding condition) in our series do exhibit such a 
difference; in fact the throat of the female is almost pure white. This con- 
forms to Chapin's earlier observation (1953: 434): "In the male the spots 
extend to the throat, but there they are much smaller in the female''' (italics mine). 
Friedmann & Williams (1968: 29) find no such sexual difference in their 
specimens, but have misinterpreted Chapin's statement. 

I am grateful to Dean Amadon of the American Museum of Natural 
History for reading this paper and providing helpful suggestions. Other 
colleagues in the Department of Ornithology have also given advice and 
assistance; but I am indebted most of all to James P. Chapin, who taught me 
to know and love the birds of Central Africa. 

References : 

Britton, P. L. & Harper, J. F. 1969. Some new distributional records for Kenya. Bull. 

Brit. Orn. CI. 89: 162-165. 
Britton, P. L. 1970. The immature plumage of two African warblers. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 

90: 26-28. 
Chapin, J. P. 1916. Four new birds from the Belgian Congo. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 

35: 23-29. 

— 1953- The birds of the Belgian Congo. Part 3. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 75a. 
Delacour, J. 1943. The bush- warblers of the genera Cettia and Bradypterus, with notes on 

allied genera and species. 2nd part. Ibis 85 : 27-40. 
Friedmann, H. & Williams, J. G. 1968. Notable records of rare or little-known birds from 

western Uganda. Rev. Zool. Bot. Afr. 77: 11-36. 
Hall, B. P. & Moreau, R. E. 1962. A study of the rare birds of Africa. Bull. Brit. Mus. 

{Nat. Hist.) Zool. 8: 316-378. 

— 1970. An atlas of speciation in African passerine birds. London: Brit. Mus. (Nat. Hist.) 
Rand, A. L., Friedmann, H. & Traylor, M. A. 1959. Birds from Gabon and Moyen Congo. 

Fieldiana: Zool. 41: 219-41 1. 
Schouteden, H. 1966. La faune ornithologique du Rwanda. Mus. Roy. Afr. Centr. Doc. 
Zool. 10. 

— 1969. La faune ornithologique du Kivu. II. Passereaux. Mus. Roy. Afr. Centr. Doc. 
Zool. 15. 

Someren, V. G. L. van. 191 9. Exhibition and description of new birds from Africa. Bull. 

Brit. Orn. CI. 40: 19-28. 
White, C. M. N. i960. A check list of the Ethiopian Muscicapidae (Sylviinae) Part 1. Occ. 

Pap. Nat. Mus. S. Rhod. 24B: 399-430. 



A Discography of Bird Sound from the Oriental 
Zoogeographical Region 

by Jeffery Boswall 

Received 14th September, 1973 

This paper is the fifth to be published of a number of projected papers, each 
covering a major geographical region of the world. For the Palearctic 
Region see Boswall (1964, 1966, 1969a, 1969b, 1970, 1971) and Sellar 
(1973); for Australasia see Boswall (1965); and for the Ethiopian Region, 
Boswall & North (1967); and for the Antarctic, Boswall & Prytherch (1969). 
A Neotropical discography is under way (Boswall & Freeman in prep.) and 
it is hoped soon to complete global coverage with a Nearctic discography. 

170 



In the Oriental Region the first bird recording was probably that of a 
hornbill {Toe k us sp.) made by the Coolidge-Carpenter expedition (Carpenter 
1940). Since then, a number of workers have recorded sound production by 
birds in a number of countries within this region. For example, Burton 
(1969, 1 971) includes in his catalogue a few recordings by Ivan Polunin 
from Malaya, Singapore and Borneo; also from Borneo Lord Medway's 
recordings of Low's Swiftlet Collocalia maxima. More recently, the BBC 
Sound Archives (J. F. Burton pers. comm.) brought in some recordings 
made by Philip Wayre on the Bhutan/Assam border, and some from Malaya 
by T. C. White. Also, BBC sound recordist John Davies made a number of 
recordings in Borneo in June 1972, and Lyndon Bird, also of the BBC, 
recorded a number of birds in Indonesia and East Malaysia (Borneo) in 
February, March and April 1973. It is hoped that some of these will also 
eventually be included in the BBC's Sound Archives. 

The commonness and portability of tape recorders must mean that many 
ornithologists have recorded sound production by birds in the Oriental 
Region over the last ten or fifteen years. It is beyond the scope of this paper 
to try to trace private collections. A few examples will suffice. L. P. Ferdi- 
nand (pers. comm.), a member of the Danish "Nooma Dan" expedition, 
taped about twenty species in the South Phillipines. Tom Harrison (pers. 
comm.), operating from the Sarawak Museum in Sarawak, made a number of 
recordings — especially hornbills, owls and bulbuls in the 1950's. M. A. 
Bradshah of Madras in India started a collection in 1966. Lord Fermoy made 
a number of recordings during the expedition to Pakistan led by Mountfort 
(1969). D. V. Manning presented recordings of some Malayan bird calls to a 
meeting of the British Ornithologists' Club on 23rd January 1968 (not 1967 
as printed in Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 88: 21). 

The discography: The series of papers of which this is one is primarily con- 
cerned with commercially published gramophone records. For the Orient 
there are only three : — 

1. Teeuwen, Gus. 1970. Jungle Memories. One 12-inch 33-3 r.p.m. disc, 
no. LP 0808. Singapore: Guson (obtainable from: P.M. Films, 26 Penn 
Meadow, Stoke Poges, Bucks, England). 

Twenty-two bird species can be heard on this record, along with two 
mammals, an amphibian and a chorus of cicadas. Of particular beauty is the 
song of the Common Shama, and the incredibly pure tones arranged in a 
melody by the Plain Babbler. It is interesting to hear a recording from the 
wild of that common cage bird, the Hill Myna. Lengthy, well-informed 
introductions are spoken by Arthur Gick. 

Side 1 : Malaysian Eared Nightjar Eurostopodus temminckii ; White-handed Gibbon Hylobates 
lar; Cicada chorus Cicadiidae; Common Shama Copsychus malabaricus ; Long-tailed Parakeet 
Psittacula longicauda; Hill Myna or Tiong Gr acuta religiosa; Plain Babbler Malacopteron affine; 
Large Racket-tailed Drongo Dicrurus paradiseus: Little Barbet Megalaima australis; Large- 
footed Wren Babbler Napothera macrodactyla ; Black Hornbill Anthrafoceros malayanus; 
White-throated Bulbul Criniger phaeocephalus. 

Side 2: Black Crested Magpie Platysmurus leucopterus ; Frog sp. Rana erythraea; Serpent 
Eagle Spilornis cheela; Red-rumped Tree Babbler Stachyris maculata; White-bellied Black 
Woodpecker Dryocopus javensis ; Red-headed Tailor Bird Orthotomus sepium; Black-necked 
Tree Babbler Stachyris nigricollis ; Scrub Bulbul Criniger bres ; Indian Cuckoo Cuculus microp- 
terus; Black Siamang Hylobates syndactylus ; Chestnut-capped Laughing Thrush Garrulax 
mitratus; Red-bearded Bee-eater Nyctiornis amicta; Muller's Barbet Megalaima oorti; Large 
Hawk Cuckoo Cuculus sparverioides. 

171 



2. Teeuwen, Gus. 1970. Jungle Fascination. One 12-inch 33-3 r.p.m. disc, 
no. LP 0809. Singapore: Guson (obtainable as for disc 1.) 

The twenty-two recordings include sixteen birds, four mammals, a reptile 
and a chorus of amphibians. The Common Shama and the Black Siamang are 
repeated from the disc reviewed above. 

Side 1: Black Siamang Hylobates syndactylus ; Mountain Imperial Pigeon Ducula badia; 
Yellow-crowned Bulbul Pycnonotus ^eylanicus ; Abbott's Jungle Babbler Trichastoma abbotti; 
Grey-bellied Squirrel Callosciurus caniceps ; Bronzed Drongo Dicrurus aenus ; Pygmy Owlet 
Glaucidium brodiei; Rhinoceros Hornbill Buceros rhinoceros; Golden Tree Babbler Stachyris 
chrysaea; Large Scimitar Babbler Pomatorhinus hypoleucos; a gecko Gecko stentor. 

Side 2 : Common Shama Copsychus malabaricus ; Banded Leaf Monkey Presbytis melalophos ; 
Little Cuckoo Dove Macropygia ruficeps; Ashy-naped Tailorbird Orthotomus cucullatus ; Red- 
headed Laughing Thrush Garrulax erythrocephalus ; Frog spp. Phrynella pollicaris and others; 
Long-billed Partridge Rhi^pthera longirostris ; Malay Peacock Pheasant Polyplectron malacenis ; 
Fire-tufted Barbet Psilopogon pyrolophus ; Long-tailed Nightjar Caprimulgus macrurus; Tiger 
Panthera tigris. 

3. Teeuwen, Gus. 1971. Tarn an Negara {Malaysia's National Park). One 
7-inch 45 r.p.m. disc, no. SP 0810, incorporating 20 page booklet. Singapore: 
Guson (obtainable as for disc 1). 

Twelve birds sing from this record. There is no human voice. Nor, 
incidentally, is there any indication of the speed at which the record should 
be played; however, by comparing the recording of Abbott's Jungle Babbler 
on this record with the same species on the second disc above (side 1), it is 
clear that this disc should be played at 45 r.p.m. This most helpfully devised 
little publication includes maps, botanical photographs, a bibliography and 
hints to park visitors ! 

Side 1 : Magpie Robin Copsychus saularis ; Abbott's Jungle Babbler Trichastoma abbotti; 
Red-rumped Trogon Harpactes duvauceli; Cicada Cicadiidae; Paradise Flycatcher Terpsi- 
phone paradisi; Great Argus Pheasant Argusianus argus; Yellow-crowned Bulbul Pycnonotus 
^eylanicus. 

Side 2: Changeable Hawk-Eagle Spi^aetus cirrhatus ; Malaysian Black-headed Oriole 
Oriolus xanthonotus ; Slender-billed Crow Corpus enca; Common Shama Copsychus malabaricus ; 
Black Crested Magpie Platysmurus leucopterus , Bushy-crested Hornbill Anorrhinus galeritus. 

R eferences : 

Boswall, Jeffery. 1964. A discography of Palearctic bird-sound recordings. Brit. Birds 57, 
special supplement : 1-63. 

— 1965. A catalogue of tape and gramophone records of Australasian Region bird-sound. 
Emu 65 : 65-74. 

— 1966. New Palearctic bird-sound recordings in 1964-65. Brit. Birds 59: 27-37. 

— 1969a. New Palearctic bird-sound recordings during 1966-67. Brit. Birds 62(2) : 49-65. 

— 1969b. New Palearctic bird-sound recordings during 1968. Brit. Birds. 62(7): 271-281. 

— 1970- New Palearctic bird-sound recordings during 1969. Brit. Birds 63: 324-332. 

— 1971- New Palearctic bird-sound recordings during 1970. Brit. Birds 64: 431-434. 
Boswall, Jeffery & Freeman, W. P. in preparation. A discography of bird-sound from the 

Neotropical Zoogeographical Region. 
Boswall, Jeffery & North, Myles, E. W. 1967. A discography of bird-sound from the 

Ethiopian Zoogeographical Region. Ibis 109: 521-533. 
Boswall, Jeffery & Prytherch, Robin J. 1969. A discography of bird-sound from the 

Antarctic. Polar Record 14(92): 603-612. 
Burton, John. 1969. Catalogue of Natural History Recordings, BBC. 

— 1 97 1. First Supplement to the 1969 Catalogue of Natural History Recordings, BBC. 
Carpenter, C. R. 1940. A field study in Siam of the behaviour and social relations of the 

Gibbon Hylobates lar. Comparative Psychology Monographs 16(5): 1-2 12. 
Mountfort, Guy. 1969. The Vanishing Jungle. London: Collins. 
Sellar, Patrick (1973). New Palearctic bird-sound recordings in 1971-72. Brit. Birds 66: 

303-510. 

172 



Rufous phase Senegal Coucals in southwest Nigeria: 
an illustration of Gloger's Rule 

by J. H. Elgood 

Received nth September, 197$ 

There is no doubt that the percentage of dark rufous Senegal Coucals 
Centropus senegalensis, formerly regarded as a distinct species C. epomidis, 
diminishes with distance inland from the Nigerian coast, a diminution 
paralleled by a decrease in the average rainfall. 

Although there were several earlier suggestions that the dark "Rufous- 
bellied Coucal, Centropus epomidis Bonaparte 1850" was only a melanic form 
of the Senegal Coucal, C. senegalensis (L.) 1 766, this view was only finally 
accepted when Elgood (1955) produced evidence of interbreeding of the two 
forms at Ibadan. Thus Hall & Moreau (1962), quoting Elgood, listed 
epomidis in an appendix of rejected species, while White (1965) stated cate- 
gorically that epomidis is a rufous form of senegalensis. 

My observations on the dark form at Ibadan showed that 16% of all 
observed coucals were of the epomidis type. During a recent visit to Lagos 
University, in early 1972, it was found that 28 out of 65 coucals (43 %) were 
rufous birds. The most northerly known records of the epomidis form are 
from Oyo and Iwo, both about 50 km north of Ibadan. Further north still, 
at Ilorin, 150 km north of Ibadan, no melanic individual was ever observed 
during a number of extensive visits to the area, where the normal form of 
senegalensis is abundant. 

Unfortunately no strictly comparable rainfall data are available, but the 
following is a summary of the facts : — 



Station 


Distance 
from coast 


Rainfall 
belt 


" epomidis 
coucals 


Lagos University 
Ibadan 


10 km 
120 km 


1 50-200 mm 
100-150 mm 


43% 
16% 


Oyo and Iwo 
Ilorin 


170 km 
270 km 


100-150 mm 
50-100 mm 


present 
absent 



If one postulates a direct relationship between percentage occurrence of 
dark birds and rainfall, as indicated by distance from the coast, the data from 
Lagos and Ibadan suggest epomidis will occur only to a distance of about 
200 km from the coast, a hypothesis fully supported by the findings at Oyo, 
Iwo and Ilorin. 

However sparse the data, it seems clear that the percentage of rufous 
coucals in southwest Nigeria diminishes rapidly from the humid coastal belt 
as rainfall decreases progressively inland. Although Gloger's Rule, as 
most often formulated, states that average pigmentation is heavier in 
populations from more humid areas, lighter in those from more arid ones 
it is only an extension of this concept to consider the proportion of dark 
forms instead of average individual darkness, as a manifestation thereof. 

References : 

Elgood, J. H. 1955. On the status of Centropus epomidis. Ibis 97: 586-587. 

Hall, B. P. & Moreau, R. E. 1962. A study of the rare birds of Africa. Bull. Brit. Mus. 
(Nat. Hist.) Zool. 8(7). 

White, C. M. N. 1965. A revised check-list of African non-passerine birds. Lusaka: Govern- 
ment Printer. 

173 



The eggs of Carpococcyx renauldi 

by Michael Walters 

Receeved 1 2th October, 1973 

Recently four eggs of Renauld's Ground Cuckoo Carpococcyx renauldi, of 
southern and eastern Siam and Indochina, were presented to the British 
Museum (Natural History), Tring, by L. W. Hall, of "Birdland", Bourton- 
on-the-Water. The eggs, which had not been incubated, were laid by a 
captive female in the summer of 1973. They are oval and tapered slightly 
at one end, resembling the egg of a domestic fowl in shape, except one egg 
which is a pure oval. They are white, with a rough-textured surface and are 
not glossy. They measure respectively 61 • 3 x 43-7; 6o- 8 x 44-3; 62-8 x 
45 • 3 ; and 62-8 X 45*5 mm. 

The only reference to the eggs of this species in the literature appears to 
be in Meise (1964). A single tgg in the Rothschild collection at Tring 
measuring 44-4 X 34 *o mm is referred to. This egg cannot at present be 
traced, but its identity would now seem to be in doubt. 

Reference: 

Meise, W. (ed.) 1964. Schonwetter: Handbuch der oologie. Berlin.- Akademie Verlag. 10: 593. 



The Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago in Zambia 

by E. L. Button 

Received 27th October, 1973 

Benson, Brooke, Dowsett & Irwin (1970, Amoldia, Rhodesia 4(40): 13) quote 
a statement by White (1945, Ibis 87: 466) that I collected Gallinago gallinago 
at Ndola, Zambia*. But in the absence of a preserved specimen in the Academy 
of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, to which I sent many specimens, or 
apparently anywhere else from Zambia, they were unable to accept the oc- 
currence of this species in the territory as being certain. This decision was 
duly reflected by the same authors (1971, The Birds of Zambia. London: 
Collins), in which the species was placed in brackets. 

Major Melvin A. Traylor (pers. comm., 15th Feb. 1973) has confirmed to 
me that there are six specimens of G. gallinago in the Field Museum of Natural 
History, Chicago, collected by myself in the Itawa Swamp, Ndola, viz. : z<$<$ y 
1 6th/ 1 8th Jan. 1944; $, 24th Feb. 1944; <$, 2nd Mar. 1944; $, nth Nov. 
1944; §, 2 1 st Jan. 1945. There are also in the same museum from the Itawa 
Swamp four specimens of G. media and 1 1 of G. nigripennis, also collected by 
myself. Indeed there is a considerable collection of birds in Chicago made 
by me in Zambia, as well as in Philadelphia. 

In view of this material evidence, the occurrence of G. gallinago in Zambia 
is clearly acceptable. Nor does there appear to be reason to question the 
records by Tree (1966, Ostrich 37: 186) of birds handled or seen at the Min- 
dola Dam, North Kafue Basin, which Benson et al. also, felt to be uncertain. 
I did in fact also collect both G. gallinago and nigripennis at Solwezi in January 
1 96 1, although I did not retain any specimens. 

174 



Night Herons in Wallacea 

by C. M. N. White 

Received 26th September, 197) 

Wallacea is used here as a convenient short designation for the Indonesian 
islands which lie between the Sunda Shelf (boundary of continental south- 
east Asia) and the Sahul Shelf (boundary of continental Australia and New 
Guinea). The western boundary is also well known as Wallace's Line. 
Darlington (1957: 462-473) has discussed and commended the use of 
Wallacea to denote these islands although he did not originate the term 
which had been first used nearly thirty years earlier. I use the term only as a 
concise geographical designation without implying a zoogeographical region 
or subregion. 

Nycticorax caledonicus hilli Mathews evidently occurs throughout Wallacea 
having been recorded from at least twenty-eight islands. It may be scarce 
in the Lesser Sundas west of Timor and Savu for there is only a single 
record from Flores, but as it is known to breed in east Java, it seems more 
likely to have been overlooked by collectors. Birds from Wallacea agree 
with the Australian form hilli, although occasional examples in Celebes show 
intergradation towards the darker Philippine manillensis. An abnormally 
dark bird from Kema, Minahassa, north Celebes, was named Nycticorax 
minahassae Meyer & Wiglesworth but later its authors placed it as a synonym 
of manillensis. Amadon (1942: 6) also places it as a synonym of manillensis but 
as other examples from north Celebes agree with hilli, it should be more 
correctly united with the latter which it would antedate and replace. 

Bock (1956) considers that TV. nycticorax and TV. caledonicus form a super- 
species. TV. nycticorax has been recorded twice in Wallacea. There is one 
record from Flores which is most likely a wanderer from Java or elsewhere in 
Malaysia where TV. nycticorax breeds. More remarkable is the occurrence in 
the region of Gorontalo in north Celebes. Stresemann (1941: 10) merely 
remarks that it very likely breeds at Lake Limbotto but gives no additional 
information. Coomans de Ruiter (1948: 80-82) suggests that in fact both 
caledonicus and nycticorax are widely sympatric in Celebes and was unable 
therefore to identify specifically the birds he saw in south Celebes. Hooger- 
werf (1966: 84) also refers to the two species occurring "alongside each 
other" in Celebes. The actual situation is however quite different, for TV. 
nycticorax is only known from a number of specimens, mostly over a century 
old, from the northern peninsula of Celebes. I am very grateful to Dr. G. F. 
Mees for kindly giving me details of the material in the Leiden Museum. 
There are nine specimens of TV. nycticorax: a male collected by Forsten about 
1840: two males, two females and a juvenile female collected in July and 
August 1863 by v. Rosenberg at Ayer Pannas, and a juvenile male collected 
by the same at Panybie in September: also two unsexed adults, one from 
Limbotto in January and another from Menado, undated. The birds obtained 
by v. Rosenberg are of most importance, for the same collector also obtained 
two juvenile TV. caledonicus in September 1863 at Limbotto and Panybie. Dr. 
Mees points out that these juveniles of both species are in spotted plumage 
but would have been fully able to fly. There is thus no evidence at all that the 
two species of Nycticorax are widely sympatric in Celebes, and only the 
specimens collected in 1863 indicate that at that time both species may have 
been breeding together in the northern tip of Celebes. 

175 



Since N. nycticorax and N. caledonicus are both often cited as breeding 
in the Philippines, similar sympatry just to the south in north Celebes would 
not be surprising. However duPont (1971 : 22) states that iV. nycticorax is only 
a migrant from Asia to the Philippines, and Professor D. S. Rabor has kindly 
informed me that he, in 39 years of field work in the Philippines, has never 
found any evidence that it breeds: he personally believes that it is only a 
winter migrant. Thus the suspected sympatric breeding in north Celebes 
becomes more remarkable. Confirmation or otherwise of this would be very 
desirable, but after a gap of over a century conditions may have changed 
and breeding colonies ceased to exist. In the meantime the evidence for this 
supposed sympatric breeding is circumstantial only, and relates to 1863. 

It is perhaps worth noting that the tropical Asian night heron, Gorsachius 
melanolophus •, has not been recorded from Wallacea but that migrants of the 
Japanese G. goisagi have been recorded from Celebes and Halmahera. 

Hoogerwerf (1966) has described the occurrence of odd examples of N. 
caledonicus in a large breeding colony of N. nycticorax in west Java, and 
apparent hybridisation with the latter. There was no indication of a mixed 
breeding colony. In Borneo N. nycticorax occurs widely and there are a few 
records of TV. caledonicus in Sabah in the north but no evidence that they were 
breeding. Professor Rabor kindly informs me that he has observed N. 
caledonicus throughout the Sulu Archipelago up to the Borneo border so that 
Sabah birds might be visitors from this source. Thus all the evidence points 
to allopatry between nycticorax and caledonicus being virtually complete. These 
extralimital data such as they are only serve to emphasise that if a mixed 
breeding colony existed in north Celebes in 1863 it was exceptional. 



References : 

Amadon, D. 1942. Birds collected during the Whitney South Seas Expedition. 49. Notes on 
some non-passerine genera 1. Amer. Mus. Novit. 1175. 

Bock, W. J. 1956. A generic review of the family Ardeidae (Aves). Amer. Mus. Novit. 1779- 

Coomans de Ruiter, L. 1948. Waarnemingen van Steltloopers (Gressores) in Zuid-Celebes, 
in het bijzonder van het blauw-witte reigertje, Notophoyx picata (Gould). Limosa 21: 
69-83. 

Darlington, P. J. 1957. Zoogeography. New York: Wiley. 

duPont, J. 1 97 1. Philippine birds. Greenville, Delaware: Delaware Museum of Natural 
History. 

Hoogerwerf, A. 1966. The occurrence of Nycticorax caledonicus in Java. Ardea 54: 81-87. 

Stresemann, E. 1941. Die vogel von Celebes. 3. Systematik und Biologie. Journ. Ornith. 89: 
1-102. 



176 



CONTRIBUTORS 

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addressed personally to the Editor, C. W. Benson, Department of Zoology, 
Downing Street, Cambridge. Contributions are accepted on condition that 
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References to literature should be in the same format as in the notice to 
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of species and genera, and illustrations including photographs. But illus- 
trations including photographs can only normally be considered if the 
contributor is willing to pay for the cost of their reproduction. 

Contributors introducing a new name or describing a new form should 
append nom. nop., sp. nov., subsp. nov. as appropriate. In such a description, 
the introduction of the name should be followed by paragraphs for "Des- 
cription", "Distribution", "Type", "Measurements of Type", "Material 
examined" and further headings as required. 

Contributors are entitled to a maximum often free copies of the number of 
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Peal, 24 Creighton Avenue, London N10 1NU. 



Published by the BRITISH ORNITHOLOGISTS' CLUB and printed by 
The Caxton and Holmesdale Press, 104 London Road, Sevenoaks, Kent. 



BULLETIN 



of the 



BRITISH 



ORNITHOLOGISTS' CLUB 




EDITED BY 

C. W. BENSON 
HUGH F. I. ELLIOTT 



Volume 94 
1974 



price: three pounds fifty pence 



PREFACE 



The quarterly publication and size of the issues which comprise the present volume of the 
Bulletin (totalling 176 pp.) have continued on the basis established in 1973. The only minor 
change, made for convenience of reference and record, is the resumption of the practice, 
last followed in Vol. 89 (1969), of listing the membership of the Club's committee. 

The first two issues of 1974 were edited by Mr. C. W. Benson, prior to his retirement 
after five years in office, during which he set an example of editorial skill and thoroughness 
that would have been quite impossible to follow but for the help and guidance he so freely 
gave when handing over. For this, for much subsequent support and, not least, for pre- 
paring with the customary and able assistance of Mrs. M. Hawksley, the Scientific Index 
for this volume, I am extremely grateful. 

As before thanks are due to all who have so kindly advised the editors on papers offered 
for publication, including Dr. D. Amadon, Dr. W. R. P. Bourne, Mr. P. R. Colston, Dr. 
C. H. Fry, Mr. I. C. J. Galbraith, Mr. D. Goodwin, Mr. M. P. Stuart Irwin, Dr. A. C. 
Kemp, Capt. C. R. S. Pitman, Prof. W. H. Thorpe, Mr. R. Wagstaffe and Mr. C. M. N. 
White; and likewise to Mr. K. E. Wiltsher, Manager of the Caxton and Holmesdale Press, 
and his staff for maintaining standards and punctuality of production of the Bulletin despite 
a difficult year for the printing industry. 

HUGH F. I. ELLIOTT 



COMMITTEE 



(1973-74) 

Sir Hugh Elliott, Chairman (1971) 

Prof. J. H. Elgood, Vice-Chairman (1971) 

C. W. Benson, Editor (1969) 

R. E. F. Peal, Hon. Secretary (1971) 

P. Tate, Hon. Treasurer (1962) 

J. H. R. Boswall (1973) 

Dr. P. J. K. Burton (1971) 

P. Hogg (1972) 

C. J. Mead (1971) 



(1974-75) 

Prof. J. H. Elgood, Chairman (1974) 
P. Hogg, Vice-Chairman (1974) 
Sir Hugh Elliott, Editor (1974) 
R. E. F. Peal, Hon. Secretary (1971) 
M. St. J. Sugg, Hon. Treasurer (1974) 
J. H. R. Boswall (1973) 
Dr. C. J. O. Harrison (1974) 
C. J. Mead (1971) 
Lt.-Col. J. R. Neighbour (1974) 




LIST OF MEMBERS: AMENDMENTS UP TO 31st DECEMBER, 1974 
(Compiled by the Hon. Secretary) 

New Members 

Ashton, P. J., b.sc, Botany Department, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa. 
Dean, W. R. J., Barberspan Nature Reserve, P.O. Barberspan, Transvaal, South Africa. 
Dick, Dr. J. A., m.a., m.b., b.chir., 8 Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 OEE. 
Gibbs, A., b.sc, 20 Park Court, Park Road, Hampton Wick, Kingston-upon-Thames, 

Surrey KT1 4AV. 
Griffin, D., m.a., 51A Palace Road, East Molesey, Surrey. 
Hagmann, Dr. J., Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, Division of Immunology, Bute 

Gardens, Hammersmith, London W6 7DW. 
Hamel, Rev. P. J., m.a., Chaplaincy at Carleton University, 718 Parkdale Avenue, Ottawa, 

Ontario K1Y 1J3, Canada. 
Hasegawa, H., M.sc, Department of Zoology-Faculty of Science, Kyoto University, 

Sakyo-Ku Kyoto, 606 Japan. 
Jensen, J. V. Holtevej 13, DK-8000, Aarhus C, Denmark. 
Jones, A. M., 72 Dee Street, Aberdeen AB1 2DS. 

Layton, W. A., b.sc, Department of Agriculture, Konedobu, Papua New Guinea. 
Limentani, b.sc, b.arch., 10 Kingfisher Green, St. Ives, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire 

PE17 4HS. 
McGregor, Dr. I. A., o.b.e., m.r.cp., 210 Hyde End Road, Spencers Wood, near Reading, 

Berkshire. 
McNeil, Dr. D. A. C, 24 Huntsmoor Road, Ewell, Surrey. 
Moller, A. P., Petersborgvej 63, DK-9000, Alborg, Denmark. 
Morrison, Dr. R. I. G., Canadian Wildlife Service, 2721 Highway 31, Ottawa, Ontario, 

Canada K1A OH3. 
Nakata, Y., Kazawu-Cho 5-111, Higasisumiyosi-Ku, Osaka 546, Japan. 
Nicholson, M. P., 'Las Rocas', Es Traves, Puerto de Soller, Mallorca, Spain. 
Olney, P. J. S., b.sc, Zoological Society of London, Regent's Park, London NW1 4RY. 
Oreel, G. J. b.sc, Jozef Israelskade 130-3, Amsterdam-1008, Netherlands. 
Parsons, Dr. J., c/o Medical Research Council Project, P.O. Box 1971, Kisumu, Nyanza 

Province, Kenya. 
Read, W. A., 36 Saltersgate Drive, Birstall, Leicester LE4 3FF. 
Sayers, B. C, 164 Chelmer Road, Chelmsford, Essex CM2 6AB. 
Tunks, I. D. A., Department of Biological Sciences, Portsmouth Polytechnic, King Henry I 

Street, Portsmouth, Hampshire. 
Tyler, Dr. S., P.O. Box 10401, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 

Wolstencroft, J. A., 'Woodside', 10 Clevelands Avenue, Silverdale, Carnforth, Lanca- 
shire LA5 0RP. 

Resignations 

Houston, W. H. Patrick, G. L. A. Sales, V. A. D. 

Johnson, F. E. B. Peall, Mrs. O. Searight, R. G. 

Lees-Smith, D. T. Russell, J. A. S. Wise, A. J. 

Deaths 

The Committee much regrets to record the deaths of the following members: — 

Colonel the Right Reverend Monsignor F. O. Cave, o.b.e., m.c 

Miss J. M. Ferrier 

Captain P. R. Foulkes-Roberts, m.c 

Miss M. V. Gilbert 

Mr. J. M. D. Mackenzie, b.a. 

Mr. C. W. Mackworth-Praed, o.b.e., m.a. (Honorary Secretary and Treasurer 1922- 

1923 and 1929-1935, Honorary Treasurer 1935-1936, Vice-Chairman 1945-1946, 

Chairman 1956-1959). 
Professor H. Schouteden 



LIST OF AUTHORS AND CONTENTS 



Am a don, Dean 

Taxonomic notes on the Serpent-eagles of the genus Spilornis 
Annual General Meeting (82nd) 

Annual General Meeting (82nd — resumed and concluded) 
Ash, J. S. 

The Boran Cisticola in Ethiopia 
Ash, J. S. and Watson, George E. 

Locustella naevia in Ethiopia 
Auber, L. 

The structure of feathers in Chlorophanes purpurascens 
Backhurst, G. C. 

Buff-breasted sandpiper Tryngites subruficollis in Africa 
Benson, C. W. 

The type of the Madagascar Cuckoo Cuculus poliocephalus rochii Hartlaub 

Another specimen of Neodrepanis hypoxantha 
Benson, C. W. and Irwin, M. P. Stuart 

The significance of records of the Common Sandpiper breeding in East Africa 
Binford, Laurence C. and Zimmerman, Dale A. 

Rufous-bellied Heron in Kenya 
Blindell, Richard 

An address on investigations into waders and wildfowl on the Essex coast and 
in the Thames estuary 

BOSWALL, JEFFERY 

A film on "The private life of the Jackass (Magellanic) Penguin" 
Boswall, Jeffery and Freeman, W. P. 

A discography of bird sound from the Neotropical Region 
Bourne, W. R. P. 

The classification of Tristram's Storm-petrel Oceanodroma tristrami Salvin 
Britton, Peter L. 

Relative Biomass of Ethiopian and Palaearctic Passerines in West Kenya 
Habitats 
Brooke, R. K. 

Buteo tachardus Andrew Smith 1830 

The African southern limits of the Steppe Eagle in winter 

On the material evidence of Hieraaetus pennatus in Southern Africa 
Brown, L. H. 

The races of the European Snake Eagle Circaetus gallicus 
Bruce, Murray D. 

The relationships of Buettikoforella bivittata: some considerations 
Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 

Opinion 999 
Cave, F. O. 

Notes on birds from the southern Sudan 
Clancey, P. A. 

On the validity and range of Lamprotornis corruscus mandanus Van Someren 
1921 

The characters and range of Pogoniulus chrysoconus extoni (Layard), 1871 
Colebrook-Robjent, J. F. R. and Osborne, T. O. 

High density breeding of the Red-necked falcon Falco chicquera in Zambia 
Collins, Charles T. and Tikasingh, Elisha S. 

Status of the Great Shearwater in Trinidad, West Indies 
Committee, 1973 Report of .. 
Conder, P. J. 

An address on "Do birdwatchers understand conservation?" 
Cooper, J. 

The predators of the Jackass Penguin Spheniscus demersus 
Davison, G. W. H. 

Geographical variation in Lophophorus sclateri 



• • 159- 


62 


41- 


-42 


.. 129- 


131 


24- 


-26 


39- 


-40 


•• 49 


-5 5 




176 


55 


-56 


.. 141- 


M3 


ica 20 


-21 


. . 101- 


102 



129 

73-76 



108-113 

59-62 

62 

152-158 

126-128 

80-81 

128 

116-118 

113-116 

139-141 

172-176 

96-99 

1-2 

129 

21-24 

163-164 



Dean, W. R. J. 

Bird weights from Angola .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 170-172 

Deans, Ian R. 

An address on gull ecology in the Thames estuary . . . . . . . . 89 

Desfayes, M. 

A new subspecies of Accipiter tachiro . . . . . . . . . . . . 69-71 

Dillingham, I. H. 

Notes on the Lammergeyer Gypaetus barbatus . . . . . . . . . . 72 

Donnelly, B. G. 

A further record of the White-eyed Gull Larus leucophthalmus from Beira, 

Mozambique . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62-63 

The Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscits in southern and central Africa . . 63-68 
Dowsett, R. J. 

Geographical variation in iris colour in the bulbul Andropadus milanjensis . . 102-104 
Duckworth, Fred 

The Whale-headed Stork in Ethiopia . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-4 

Elgood, J. H. 

Weights and perching habits of birds at Port Moresby, Papua, New Guinea 135-138 
Erard, C. 

The problem of the Boran Cisticola . . . . . . . . . . . . 26-38 

Farkas, T. 

On the biology of Monticola imerinus (Hartlaub) . . . . . . . . 165-170 

Field, G. D. 

Nearctic waders in Sierra Leone — Lesser Golden Plover and Buff-breasted 

Sandpiper . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76-78 

Freeman, W. P. 

See Boswall 
Frith, C. B. 

New observations of migrants and vagrants from Aldabra, Farquhar and 

Astove Atolls, Indian Ocean .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 12-19 

Fry, C. H. 

Vocal mimesis in nestling Greater Honey-guides .. .. .. .. 58-59 

Gallagher, M. D. 

On the occurrence of the Great White Egret Egretta alba in the Persian Gulf 

region .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 122-126 

Grimes, L. G. 

Duetting in Hyper ger us atrkeps and its taxonomic relationship to Eminia lepida 89-96 
Harrison, C. J. O. 

A re-examination of material of the extinct marabou stork, Leptoptilos falconeri 
with descriptions of some new species 

Reduced natal down in some emberizine species 
Haverschmidt, F. 

Notes on the Gray-breasted Crake Laterallus exilis 

The occurrence of the Giant Snipe Gallinago undulata in Surinam . . 
Hill, Geoffrey 

Observations on a relationship between Crested Guineafowl and Vervet 

Monkeys 68-60 

Holyoak, D. T. 

Cyanoramphus malherbi, is it a colour morph of C. auriceps} . . . . . . 4-9 

An address on ornithological exploration and conservation in the Cook 

Islands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89 

Status of the genus Sauropatis (Alcedinidae) .. .. .. .. . .121-122 

Undescribed land birds from the Cook Islands, Pacific Ocean .. .. 145-150 

Irwin, M. P. Stuart 

The Pintail Anas acuta in Rhodesia . . . . . . . . . . . . 56-57 

See also Benson 
Jefford, T. G. 

See Urban 
Munteanu, Dan 

Further expansion of the Fieldfare in the Rumanian Carpathians . . . . 1 51-15 2 



42-49 

71-72 



2-3 
132-134 



Oreel, G. J. 

Little Gull Larus minutus south of the Sahara . . . . . . . . . . 176 

Osborne, T. O. 

See COLEBROOK-ROBJENT 

Parkes, Kenneth C. 

Geographical variation in the Rufous-tailed Foliage gleaner Philydor rufi- 

caudatus, with notes on plumages .. .. .. .. .. .. 11 8-1 21 

Payne, Robert B. 

Species limits and variation of the New World Green Herons Butorides 

virescens and Striated Herons B. striatus . . . . . . . . . . 81-88 

Sassoon, S. 

Finfoot Podica senegalensis in Ethiopia . . . . . . .... . . 176 

Scott, Sir Peter 

An illustrated talk on individuality in birds . . . . . . . . . . 1 

Sinclair, J. C. 

Larus minutus in Angola . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 

Fish offal scavengers off Luanda . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 

Special General Meeting .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 132 

Thorpe, W. H. 

An illustrated talk on individuality in bird voices . . . . . . . . 41 

TlKASINGH, ELISHA S. 

See Collins 
Turner, D. A. 

Cape Grass Owl in Ethiopia .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 38-39 

Urban, Emil K. and Jefford, T. G. 

The status of the cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo lucidus and Phalacrocorax 

carbo patricki . . .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 104-107 

Walters, Michael P. 

The eggs of the Golden Conure Aratinga guarouba . . . . . . . . 71 

Watson, George E. 

See Ash 
Wattel, J. 

An illustrated talk on moult in relation to life cycle in some non-passerines . . 1 

White, C. M. N. 

Three water birds of Wallacea . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9-1 1 

The Little Egret Egret ta garget ta in Wallacea . . . . . . . . . . 78-79 

Butastur and Buteo east of Wallace's Line . . . . . . . . . . 99-100 

Some questionable records of Celebes birds . . . . . . . . . . 144-145 

WlNTERBOTTOM, J. M. 

Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur in South West Africa . . . . . . . . 19 

Zimmerman, Dale A. 
See Binford 



INDEX TO SCIENTIFIC NAMES 
(Compiled by C. W. Benson with the assistance of Mrs. M. Hawksley) 

All generic and specific names (of birds only) are indexed. Subspecific names are included 
only if new and are also indexed in bold print under the generic and the specific names. 



abbotti, Spilornis 162 
Accipiter fasciatus 137-138 

— tachiro 69-70 

Accipiter tachiro croizati, subsp. nov. 70 
Acrocephalus palustris 112 

— schoenobaenus 112 

— scirpaceus 40, 111 

— vaughani 149-150 
Acrocephalus vaughani kaoko, subsp. 

nov. 150 
Acrocephalus vaughani kerearako, 

subsp. nov. 149 
acuta, Anas 56 
adelaidae, Platycercus 6 
aethiopicus, Threskiornis 22 
alba, Calidris 77 

— , Egretta 79, 122-125 

— , Motacilla 16 

— , Tyto 38 
albescens, Morphninus 155 
albicollis, Ficedula 1 1 1 
albifrons, Platysteira 171 
alboscapularis, Malurus 137-138 
albus, Corvus 13, 173-174 
Alca alle 128 

— impennis 128 
aldabranus, Dicrurus 13, 15 
alle, Alca 128 

amethystina, Chalcomitra 117 
Anabazaenops immaculatus 118 
analoga, Meliphaga 136 

Anas acuta 56 

— platyrhynchos 18 

— querquedula 56 
andrewsi, Fregata 145 
Andropadus milanjensis 102-104 

— tephrolaemus 102 

— virens 171 
angolensis, Gypohierax 58 
anguitimitens, Eurocephalus 157 
Anhinga rufa 12 

ansorgei, Cossypha 171 
Anthus trivialis 16 
Apalis flavida 171 

— pulchra 95 
apivorus, Pernis 60 
Aplonis cantoroides 136-138 
Apus apus 15 

apus, Apus 1 5 

Aquila nipalensis 62, 152 

— pomarina 152 

— wahlbergi 155-156 



aquila, Fregata 145 
Aratinga guarouba 71 
Ardea cinerea 58, 123 

— novaehollandiae 9 
Ardeola ralloides 101 
ardeola, Dromas 14, 19 
Arenaria interpres 18 
Argala arvenensis 42 

— falconeri 42 

Artamus leucorhynchus 136-13! 
arvenensis, Argala 42 
asturinus, Spilornis 162 
atiu, Halcyon 148 
atricapilla, Sylvia 40, 111-112 
atriceps, Hypergerus 89-96 

— , Moho 89 
auratus, Oriolus 171 
auriceps, Cyanoramphus 4-8 
ayresi, Sarothrura 39 

badiceps, Eremomela 171 
bairdii, Prinia 171 
Balaeniceps rex 3 
Barbatula extoni 139 
barbatus, Gypaetus 72 
Bathmocercus cerviniventris 95 
Batis minulla 171 
beaudouini, Circaetus 126-128 
bensoni, Monticola 167 
biarmicus, Falco 172 
Bias musicus 171 
bicolor, Nigrita 172 
bivittata, Buettikoforella 80 
bocagei, Telophorus 171 
bodessa, Cisticola 32-38 
borin, Sylvia 109, 111-113 
Bowdleria punctata 80 
brachyptera, Cisticola 171 
bradfieldi, Tockus 171 
brevipes, Monticola 165 
brevirostris, Phalacrocorax 107 
Bucorvus leadbeateri 171 
Buettikoforella bivittata 80 
bulliens, Cisticola 171 
bulocki, Merops 58-59 
Butaetes lessonii 1 5 5 
Butastur indicus 100 

— liventer 99-100 
Buteo buteo 59-61, 100 

desertorum 60, 100 

— lagopus 60 

— oreophilus 59-60 



Buteo rufofuscus 59 

— tachardus 59-61 
buteo, Buteo 59—61, 100 
Butorides rufiventris 101 

— striatus 81-88, 101 

— sundevalli 81, 87 

— virescens 81-88 
Bycanistes sharpii 171 

Cacomantis variolosus 137-138 
Cairina moschata 18 
caledonicus, Nycticorax 136 
Calidris alba 77 

— canutus 77 

— melanotos 76 

— minuta 14 
Camaroptera fasciolata 95 

— superciliaris 171 
canicapilla, Nigrita 172 
caniceps, Lonchura 136-138 
canorus, Cuculus 15, 59 
cantoroides, Aplonis 136-138 
canutus, Calidris 77 
capensis, Smithornis 94 

— , Tyto 38 
capistrata, Nesocharis 117 
capistratum, Pellorneum 80 
caprata, Saxicola 137 
carbo, Phalacrocorax 104-107 
carteri, Eremiornis 80 
carunculatus, Phalacrocorax 106-107 
castanea, Dyaphorophyia 171 
castaneothorax, Lonchura 137-138 
castanotus, Colius 171 
Catharacta maccormicki 21 
cayana, Dacnis 51—55 
Centropus phasianinus 136-138 
Cercomela familiaris 117 
cerviniventris, Bathmocercus 95 

— , Chlamydera 137-138 
Ceryle maxima 171 

— rudis 171 
Chalcomitra amethystina 117 
chalconotus, Phalacrocorax 107 
Charadrius forbesi 116 

— hiaticula 77 
cheela, Spilornis 159-163 
chelicuti, Halcyon 171 
chicquera, Falco 172-175 
chiniana, Cisticola 25-38 
Chlamydera cerviniventris 1 3 7-1 3 8 
Chlidonias nigra 57-58 
Chlorocichla falkensteini 171 
Chlorophanes purpurascens 49-54 

— spiza 51-55 
chloropygia, Nectarinia 171 
chrysaetos, Falco 153 
chrysoconus, Pogoniulus 139-14 1 
Cichlornis grosvenori 80 
Ciconia 43, 48 



Ciconia, ciconia 21 

— episcopus io-ii 

— stormi 10- 11 
ciconia, Ciconia 21 
cinerea, Ardea 58, 123 
Circaetus beaudouini 126-128 

— gallicus 126-128 

— pectoralis 126-128 
cirrocephalus, Larus 63, 66 
Cisticola bodessa 32-38 

Cisticola bodessa kaffensis, subsp. nov. 

32 
Cisticola brachyptera 171 

— ■ bulliens 171 

— chiniana 25-38 

— exilis 136-138 

— natalensis 31 

— subruficapilla 32 
Cly tospiza monteiri 117 
coelebs, Fringilla 25, 27 
Colius castanotus 171 
Collocalia leucophaea 146-147 
Collocalia sawtelli, sp. nov. 146-147 
Collocalia vanikoriensis 136 
Colluricincla harmonica 136-138 
collurio, Lanius 40 

collybita, Phylloscopus 40 
Columba livia 17, 157 
columbarius, Falco 19, 174 
Columbigallina passerina 133 
comitatus, Pedilorhynchus 171 
communis, Sylvia 27, 40 
concolor, Falco 13 
Coracina novaehollandiae 136-138 

— papuensis 136-138 

— pectoralis 171 
coronatus, Spizaetus 155 
corruscus, Lamprotornis 11 3-1 15 
coruscans, Neodrepanis 141-143 
Corvus albus 13, 173-174 

— orru 136-138 
Cosmetornis vexillarius 170 
Cossypha ansorgei 171 
Cracticus mentalis 135-138 
crassirostris, Hemiparra 101 
crestatus, Eudyptes 23 
Crinifer leucogaster 157 

— personata 157 
cristatus, Lanius 1 1 1-1 1 2 
croizati, Accipiter 70 
cruentatum, Dicaeum 144 
crumeniferus, Leptoptilos 43 
Cryptociconia indica, gen. et. sp. nov. 44, 

48-49 
Cuculus canorus 15,59 

— poliocephalus 15, 55-56 

— rochii 56 
curruca, Sylvia 40 
cuvieri, Falco 175 
Cyanerpes cyaneus 51-55 



cyaneus, Cyanerpes 5 1-5 5 
Cyanoramphus auriceps 4-8 

— intermedius 6 

— malherbi 4-8 

— novaezelandiae 7-8 
Cyanosylvia svecica 168 

Dacelo gaudichaud 135-136 

— leachii 135, 137-138 
Dacnis cayana 51-55 
Delichon urbica 21 
demersus, Spheniscus 21-22 
desertorum, Buteo 60, 100 
diadematum, Tricholaema 157 
Dicaeum cruentatum 144 

— hosei 144-145 

— nehrkorni 144 
Dicrurus aldabranus 13, 15 
Dissoura neglecta 10 
dominica, Pluvialis 77-78 
dominicanus, Larus 22, 58, 63-64, 66 
Dromas ardeola 14, 19 
Drymocataphus 80 

dubius, Hieraaetus 155 

— , Leptoptilos 43-44, 47, 49 
Dumetia hyperythra 80 
dumonti, Mina 137-138 
Dyaphorophyia castanea 171 

edouardi, Guttera 68 
Egretta alba 79, 122-125 

— garzetta 58, 78-79, 122 

— gularis 122 

— intermedia 79, 124-125 
elegans, Platycercus 6 
eleonorae, Falco 13 

elgini, Spilornis 159-163 
Elminia longicauda 171 
Eminia lepida 89-96 
episcopus, Ciconia 10-11 
epops, Upupa 40 
Eremiornis carted 80 
Eremomela badiceps 171 
erythrocephalus, Trachyphonus 157 
erythrocercus, Philydor 120 
Erythrocnus 101 
erythrops, Neocrex 3 
Estrilda melpoda 172 
Eudynamys scolopacea 144 
Eudyptes crestatus 23 
euophrys, Philydor 120 
Eurocephalus anguitimitens 157 
Eurystomus glaucurus 16 

— orientalis 137 
exilis, Cisticola 136-138 

— , Ixobrychus 73 

— , Laterallus 2-3 
explorator, Monticola 167, 169 
extoni, Barbatula 139 



falcinellus, Plegadis 11 
Falco biarmicus 172 

— chicquera 172-175 

— chrysaetos 153 

— columbarius 19, 174 

— concolor 13 

— cuvieri 175 

— eleonorae 13 

— longipennis 175 

— newtoni 13, 16 

— pennatus 152 

— peregrinus 12-13 

— subbuteo 175 

— tachardus 60 
falconeri, Argala 42 

— , Leptoptilos 42-45, 49 
falkensteini, Chlorocichla 171 
familiaris, Cercomela 117 
fanovanae, Newtonia 143 
fasciatus, Accipiter 137-138 

— Tockus 171 
fasciolata, Camaroptera 95 
Ficedula albicollis m 
flava, Motacilla 101, 111-113 
flaveola, Sicalis 71 
flaveolus, Platycercus 6 
flavescens, Meliphaga 135-138 
flavida, Apalis 171 
flavigaster, Hyliota 171 

— •, Microeca 136-138 
flavipes, Tringa 76 
flaviventer, Porzana 2 
forbesi, Charadrius 116 
Foudia madagascariensis 18 
fraseri, Stizorhina 171 
Fregata andrewsi 145 

— ■ aquila 145 

— ■ minor 145 
Fringilla coelebs 25, 27 
fuliginosa, Nectarinia 171 
fusconota, Nigrita 172 
fuscus, Larus 18, 58, 63-68 

galatea, Tanysiptera 136 
Galerida modesta 95 
gallicus, Circaetus 126-128 
Gallinago gallinago 20, 133 

— hardwicki 134 

— macrodactyla 20 

— nigripennis 20 

— stenura 20 

— undulata 132-134 
gallinago, Gallinago 20, 133 
garzetta, Egretta 58, 78-79, 122 
gaudichaud, Dacelo 135-136 
Geopelia humeralis 137-138 

— striata 18, 136-138 
giganteus, Macronectes 27 
gilvus, Mimus 133 
glareola, Tringa 78 



glaucurus, Eurystomus 16 
goodwini, Ptilinopus 145 
Graminicola 80 
gravis, Puffinus 96 
grosvenori, Cichlornis 80 
guarouba, Aratinga 71 
gularis, Egretta 122 
Guttera edouardi 68 
gutturalis, Irania 40 

— , Neocichla 171 

— , Phalacrocorax 106 
Gypaetus barbatus 72 
Gypohierax angolensis 58 

haematodus, Trichoglossus 136-138 
Haematopus ostralegus 77 
Halcyon chelicuti 171 

— leucocephala 171 

— macleayii 136-137 

— miyakoensis 122 
Halcyon ruficollaris, sp. nov. 147 
Halcyon sancta 122, 136-138 

— senegalensis 171 
Halcyon tuta atiu, subsp. nov. 148 
Halcyon tuta mauke, subsp. nov. 148-149 
Haliaeetus vocifer 173 

hardwicki, Gallinago 134 
harmonica, Colluricincla 136-138 
Hemiparra crassirostris 101 
heuglini, Ploceus 117 
hiaticula, Charadrius 77 
Hieraaetus dubius 155 

— pennatus 60, 152-158 

— spilogaster 155 
Himantopus himantopus 101 
himantopus, Himantopus 101 
Hippolais pallida 40 
Hirundo lagopoda 60 

— rustica 16, 19, 111-113 

— tahitica 136-138 
hosei, Dicaeum 144-145 
humeralis, Geopelia 137-138 

— Myospiza 133 
huttoni, Phalacrocorax 107 
Hyliota flavigaster 171 
Hypergerus atriceps 89-96 
hyperythra, Dumetia 80 
Hypochera nigeriae 1 1 7 
hypoleucos, Tringa 14, 20, 77 
hypoxantha, Neodrepanis 1 41-143 

imerinus, Monticola 165-170 
immaculatus, Anabazaenops 118 
impejanus, Lophophorus 163-164 
impennis, Alca 128 
indica, Cryptociconia 44, 48-49 
Indicator indicator 58-59 

— minor 58 

— variegatus 58 
indicator, Indicator 58-59 



indicus, Butastur 100 
insignis, Prodotiscus 171 
intermedia, Egretta 79, 124-125 
intermedius, Cyanoramphus 6 
interpres, Arenaria 18 
Irania gutturalis 40 
Ixobrychus exilis 73 

jacarina, Volatinia 2 
jardineii, Turdoides 171 
javanica, Rhipidura 144 
javanicus, Leptoptilos 44-45 
jugularis, Nectarinia 137-138 
Jynx torquilla 40 

kaffensis, Cisticola 32 
kaoko, Acrocephalus 150 
kerearako, Acrocephalus 149 
kinabaluensis, Spilornis 160-163 
klossi, Spilornis 162 

lacrymosum, Tricholaema 157 
Lagonosticta nigricollis 117 

— rubricata 117 

— rufopicta 117 

— senegala 117 
lagopoda, Hirundo 60 
lagopus, Buteo 60 
Lalage sueurii 136-138 
Lamprotornis corruscus 11 3-1 15 
Lanioturdus torquatus 61 
Lanius collurio 40 

— cristatus 111-112 

— nubicus 40 

— souzae 171 

Larus cirrocephalus 63, 66 

— dominicanus 22, 58, 63-64, 66 

— fuscus 18, 58, 63-68 

— leucophthalmus 62, 66 

— minutus 57, 176 
Laterallus exilis 2-3 

— melanophaius 3 

— viridis 3 

leachii, Dacelo 135, 137-138 
leadbeateri, Bucorvus 171 
lepida, Eminia 89-96 
Leptoptilos crumeniferus 43 

— dubius 43-44, 47, 49 

— falconeri 42-45, 49 

— javanicus 44-45 

Leptoptilos richae, sp. nov. 43-44, 47, 49 
Leptoptilos siwalicensis, sp. nov. 44, 46, 

49 
lessonii, Butaetes 155 
leucocephala, Halcyon 171 
leucogaster, Crinifer 157 
leucolaima, Pogoniulus 171 
leucophaea, Collocalia 146-147 

— , Microeca 136-138 
leucophrys, Rhipidura 136-138 



leucophthalmus, Larus 62, 66 
leucopygius, Turdoides 61, 171 
leucorhynchus, Artamus 136-138 
lhuysii, Lophophorus 163-164 
liventer, Butastur 99-100 
livia, Columba 17, 157 
Locustella naevia 39-40 
Lonchura caniceps 136-138 

— castaneothorax 137-138 
longicauda, Elminia 171 
longipennis, Falco 175 
Lophophorus impejanus 163-164 

— lhuysii 163-164 

— sclateri 163-164 
Lophophorus sclateri orientalis, subsp. 

nov. 164 
Luscinia megarhynchos 40 

— svecica 40, 165, 168, 170 

maccormicki, Catharacta 21 
macleayii, Halcyon 136-137 
Macrocephalon maleo 144 
macrodactyla, Gallinago 20 

— , Oceanodroma 100 
Macronectes giganteus 21 
madagascariensis, Foudia 18 

— Phyllastrephus 143 
magellanicus, Spheniscus 23, 129 
magna, Sturnella 133 
Malaconotus 6-7 

maleo, Macrocephalon 144 
malherbi, Cyanoramphus 4-8 
Malurus 80 

— alboscapularis 137-138 
Mandingoa nitidula 117 
mariae, Megalurulus 80 
markhami, Oceanodroma 100 
matsudairae, Oceanodroma 100 
mauke, Halcyon 148 
maxima, Ceryle 171 
maximus, Thalasseus 58 
Megalurulus mariae 80 
megarhynchos, Luscinia 40 
melania, Oceanodroma 100 
melanoleucos, Phalacrocorax 106-107 
melanophaius, Laterallus 3 
melanopis, Schistochlamys 133 
melanopsis, Monarcha 136 
melanotos, Calidris 76 

Meliphaga analoga 136 

— flavescens 135-138 
melpoda, Estrilda 172 
mentalis, Cracticus 135-138 

— , Sphenoeacus 95 
Merops bulocki 58-59 

— ornatus 136-137 

— superciliosus 15 
meyeri, Poicephalus 170 
Microeca flavigaster 136-138 

— leucophaea 136-138 



migrans, Milvus 138 
milanjensis, Andropadus 102-104 
milvoides, Spizaetus 154 
Milvus 158 

— migrans 138 
Mimus gilvus 133 
Mina dumonti 137-138 
minimus, Spilornis 162 
minor, Fregata 145 

— , Indicator 58 
minulla, Batis 171 
minuta, Calidris 14 
minutus, Larus 57, 176 
miyakoensis, Halcyon 122 
modesta, Galerida 95 
Moho atriceps 95 
Monarcha melanopsis 136 
monteiri, Clytospiza 117 
Monticola bensoni 167 

— brevipes 165 

— explorator 167, 169 

— imerinus 165-170 

— saxatilis 167 

— sharpei 166-167, I ^9 

— solitarius 167 
monticola, Oenanthe 169 
Morphninus albescens 1 5 5 
moschata, Cairina 18 
Motacilla alba 16 

— flava 101, 111-113 
Muscicapa striata 17, 111-112 
musicus, Bias 171 
Myospiza humeralis 133 

nabouroup, Onychognathus 61 
naevia, Locustella 39-40 
Napothera 80 
natalensis, Cisticola 31 
nebularia, Tringa 21, 77 
Nectarinia chloropygia 171 

— fuliginosa 171 

— jugularis 137-138 

— olivacea 95, 171 

— seimundi 171 

— superba 171 

— verticalis 171 
neglecta, Dissoura 10 
nehrkorni, Dicaeum 144 
Neocichla gutturalis 171 
Neocrex erythrops 3 
Neodrepanis coruscans 1 41-143 

— hypoxantha 1 41-143 
Nesocharis capistrata 117 
newtoni, Falco 13, 16 
Newtonia fanovanae 143 
nigeriae, Hypochera 117 
nigerrimus, Ploceus 172 
nigra, Chlidonias 57-58 
nigricollis, Lagonosticta 117 
nigripennis, Gallinago 20 



Nigrita bicolot 172 

— canicapilla 172 

— fusconota 172 
nipalensis, Aquila 62, 152 
nisoria, Sylvia 40 
nitidula, Mandingoa 117 
novaeguineae, Philemon 136-138 
novaehollandiae, Ardea 9 

— , Coracina 136-138 
novaezelandiae, Cyanoramphus 7- 
nubicus, Lanius 40 
Numenius phaeopus 76 
Nycticorax caledonjcus 136 

Oceanodroma macrodactyla 100 

— markhami 100 

— matsudairae 100 

— melania 100 

— tristrami 100 
Oenanthe 168 

— monticola 169 

— oenanthe 16 

— pleschanka 40 
oenanthe, Oenanthe 16 
olivacea, Nectarinia 95, 171 

— ■, Tiaris 72 
Onychognathus nabouroup 61 
oreophilus, Buteo 59-60 
orientalis, Eurystomus 137 

— , Lophophorus 164 
Oriolus auratus 171 

— oriolus 17 

— szalayi 136-138 
oriolus, Oriolus 17 
ornatus, Merops 136-137 
orru, Corvus 136-138 
Ortygocichla rubiginosa 80 
ostralegus, Haematopus 77 
Otus scops 40 

pallida, Hippolais 40 
pallidirostris, Tockus 171 
paludicola, Riparia 112 
palustris, Acrocephalus 112 
papuensis, Coracina 136-138 
parasiticus, Stercorarius 58 
passerina, Columbigallina 133 
pectoralis, Circaetus 126-128 
Pedilorhynchus comitatus 171 
Pellorneum capistratum 80 
peltata, Platysteira 171 
pennatus, Falco 152 

— Hieraaetus 60, 152-158 
peregrinus, Falco 12-13 
Pernis apivorus 60 
personata, Crinifer 157 
Petrochelidon rufigula 171 
phaeopus, Numenius 76 
Phalacrocorax carbo 104-107 

— carunculatus 106-107 



Phalacrocorax chalconotus 107 

— gutturalis 106 

— huttoni 107 

— melanoleucos 106-107 
phasianinus, Centropus 136-138 
Philemon novaeguineae 136-138 
philippensis, Rallus 137-138 
Philydor erythrocercus 120 

— euophrys 120 

— ruficaudatus 11 8-1 21 

— subflavescens 119 
Phoeniculus purpureus 171 
Phoenicurus phoenicurus 40, 112 
phoenicurus, Phoenicurus 40, 112 
Pholidornis rushiae 172 
Phyllastrephus madagascariensis 143 

— tenebrosus 143 

— zosterops 143 
Phylloscopus collybita 40 

— sibilatrix 17 

— trochilus 16-17, 4°> m-112 
picturata, Streptopelia 14 

pilaris, Turdus 151 
Pinguinus 128 
Platycercus 7 

— adelaidae 6 

— elegans 6 

— flaveolus 6 
platyrhynchos, Anas 18 
Platysteira albifrons 171 

— peltata 171 
Plautus 128 
Plegadis falcinellus 1 1 
pleschanka, Oenanthe 40 
pleurostictus, Thryothorus 73 
Plocepasser rufoscapulatus 171 
Ploceus heuglini 117 

— nigerrimus 172 

— vitellinus 117 
Plotus 128 

plumata, Prionops 171 
Pluvialis dominica 77-78 

— squatarola 13, 77 
Podica senegalensis 170, 176 
Poicephalus meyeri 170 

— rueppellii 170 
Pogoniulus chrysoconus 1 39-141 

— leucolaima 171 

— pusillus 139 
poliocephalus, Cuculus 15, 55-56 
pomarina, Aquila 152 
Porzana flavi venter 2 

Prinia bairdii 171 
Prionops plumata 171 

— retzii 171 
Prodotiscus insignis 171 

Ptilinopus rarotongensis goodwini, 

subsp. nov. 145-146 
Puffinus gravis 96 

— puffinus 98 



puffinus, Puffinus 98 
pulchra, Apalis 95 
punctata, Bowdleria 80 
purpurascens, Chlorophanes 49-54 
purpureus, Phoeniculus 171 
pusillus, Pogoniulus 139 

querquedula, Anas 56 

ralloides, Ardeola 101 
Rallus philippensis 137-138 
rarotongensis, Ptilinopus 145-146 
retzii, Prionops 171 
rex, Balaeniceps 3 
Rhipidura javanica 144 

— leucophrys 136-138 
richae, Leptoptilos 43-44, 47, 49 
Riparia paludicola 112 

— riparia 111-113 
riparia, Riparia 111-113 
rochii, Cuculus 56 
rubetra, Saxicola 111-112 
rubiginosa, Ortygocichla 80 
rubricata, Lagonosticta 117 
rudis, Ceryle 171 
rueppellii, Poicephalus 170 
rufa, Anhinga 12 
rufescens, Sylvietta 171 
ruficapilla, Spermophaga 172 
ruficaudatus, Philydor 11 8-1 21 
ruficollaris, Halcyon 147 
rufigula, Petrochelidon 171 
rufipectus, Spilornis 162 
rufiventris, Butorides 101 
rufofuscus, Buteo 59 
rufopicta, Lagonosticta 1 1 7 
rufoscapulatus, Plocepasser 171 
rushiae, Pholidornis 172 
rustica, Hirundo 16, 19, 111-113 

Salpornis spilonota 171 
sancta, Halcyon 122, 136-138 
Sarothrura ayresi 39 
saturata, Scolopax 20 
Sauropatis 121 
sawtelli, Collocalia 146-147 
saxatilis, Monticola 167 
Saxicola 168 

— caprata 137 

— rubetra 111-112 

— torquata 40 
Schistochlamys melanopis 133 
schoenobaenus, Acrocephalus 1 1 2 
scirpaceus, Acrocephalus 40, 111 
sclateri, Lophophorus 163-164 
scolopacea, Eudynamys 144 
Scolopax saturata 20 

scops, Otus 40 
seimundi, Nectarinia 171 
senegala, Lagonosticta 1 1 7 



senegalensis, Halcyon 171 

— , Podica 170, 176 

— , Streptopelia 157 
sharpei, Monticola 166-167, l< ^9 
sharpii, Bycanistes 171 
sibilatrix, Phylloscopus 17 
Sicalis flaveola 71 
sipora, Spilornis 162 
siwalicensis, Leptoptilos 44, 46, 49 
Smithornis capensis 94 
solitaria, Tringa 76 
solitarius, Monticola 167 
souzae, Lanius 171 
Spermophaga ruficapilla 172 
Sphecotheres vieilloti 137-138 
Spheniscus demersus 21-22 

— magellanicus 23, 129 
Sphenoeacus 80 

— mentalis 95 
spilogaster, Hieraaetus 155 
spilonota, Salpornis 171 
spilonotus, Spilornis 160, 162 
Spilornis abbotti 162 

— asturinus 162 

— cheela 159-163 

— elgini 159-163 

— kinabaluensis 160-163 

— klossi 162 

— minimus 162 

— rufipectus 162 

— sipora 162 

— spilonotus 160, 162 
spiza, Chlorophanes 51-55 
Spizaetus coronatus 155 

— milvoides 154 
squatarola, Pluvialis 13, 77 
Stachyris 80 

stenura, Gallinago 20 
Stercorarius parasiticus 58 
stormi, Ciconia 10-11 
Stipiturus 80 
Stizorhina fraseri 171 
Streptopelia picturata 14 

— senegalensis 157 

— turtur 14-15, 19 
striata, Geopelia 18, 136-138 

— , Muscicapa 17, 111-112 
striatus, Butorides 81-88, 101 
Sturnella magna 133 
subbuteo, Falco 175 
subflavescens, Philydor 119 
subruficapilla, Cisticola 32 
subruficollis, Tryngites 77, 176 
sueurii, Lalage 136-138 
sundevalli, Butorides 81, 87 
superba, Nectarinia 171 
superciliaris, Camaroptera 171 
superciliosus, Merops 15 
svecica, Cyanosylvia 168 

— , Luscinia 40, 165, 168, 170 



Sylvia atricapilla 40, 111-112 

— borin 109, 111-113 

— communis 27, 40 

— curruca 40 

— nisoria 40 
Sylvietta rufescens 171 

— virens 95, 171 
szalayi, Oriolus 136-138 

tachardus, Buteo 59-61 

— , Falco 60 
tachiro, Accipiter 69-70 
tahitica, Hirundo 136-138 
Tanagra violacea 71 
Tanysiptera galatea 136 
Telacanthura ussheri 1 5 
Telmatodytes 80 
Telophorus bocagei 171 
tenebrosus, Phyllastrephus 143 
tephrolaemus, Andropadus 102 
Tersina viridis 71 
Thalasseus maximus 58 
Threskiornis aethiopicus 22 
Thripias xantholophus 171 
Thryothorus pleurostictus 73 
Tiaris olivacea 72 
Tockus bradfieldi 171 

— fasciatus 171 

— pallidirostris 171 
torquata, Saxicola 40 
torquatus, Lanioturdus 61 
torquilla, Jynx 40 
totanus, Tringa 77 
Trachyphonus erythrocephalus 157 
Trichoglossus haematodus 136-138 
Tricholaema diadematum 157 

— lacrymosum 157 
Tringa flavipes 76 

— glareola 78 

— hypoleucos 14, 20, 77 

— nebularia 21, 77 



Tringa solitaria 76 

— totanus 77 
tristrami, Oceanodroma 100 
trivialis, Anthus 16 

trochilus, Phylloscopus 16-17, 4°> III_ 

112 
Tryngites subruficollis 77, 176 
Turdoides jardineii 171 

— leucopygius 61, 171 
Turdus pilaris 151 

turtur, Streptopelia 14-15, 19 
tuta, Halcyon 148-149 
Tyto alba 38 

— capensis 38 

undulata, Gallinago 132-134 
Upupa epops 40 
urbica, Delichon 21 

vanikoriensis, Collocalia 136 
variegatus, Indicator 58 
variolosus, Cacomantis 137-138 
vaughani, Acrocephalus 149-150 
verticalis, Nectarinia 171 
vexillarius, Cosmetornis 170 
vieilloti, Sphecotheres 137-138 
violacea, Tanagra 71 
virens, Andropadus 171 

— Sylvietta 95, 171 
virescens, Butorides 81-88 
viridis, Laterallus 3 

— , Tersina 71 
vitellinus, Ploceus 1 1 7 
vocifer, Haliaeetus 173 
Volatinia jacarina 2 

wahlbergi, Aquila 155-156 

xantholophus, Thripias 171 

zosterops, Phyllastrephus 143 



Corrigenda 

15, line 33: Insert inverted commas after 'specimen' 

p. 49, line 5 : i dubius\ not 'dubia 

p. 80, line 20: i mariae\ not i mariei'' 

p. 95, line 23: i Sphenoeacus\ not 'Sphenoaecus' 

p. 95, line 25 : 'Camaroptera, not l Cameropterd 

p. 136, line 9: < phasianinus\ not ' 'phasianus'' 

p. 170, penultimate line: l rueppellii\ not 'ruppe//i' 

p. 171, line 1: l castanotus\ not ' ' castonotus' 

p. 171, line 43: i ret^ii\ not 'w/^/V 
p. 173, table: ' Haliaeetus\ not 'Haliaaetus^ 



The Caxton & Holmesdak Press, Sevenoaks 



Bulletin of the 



British Ornithologists' Club 




Edited by 
C. W. BENSON 



Volume 94 No. 1 



March 1 974 



Committee 

Sir Hugh Elliott, Bt., o.b.e. {Chairman) 

J. H. Elgood (Vice-Chairman) 

C. W. Benson, o.b.e. (Editor) 

R. E. F. Peal (Hon. Secretary) 

P. Tate (Hon. Treasurer) 

J. H. R. Boswall 

Dr. P. J. K. Burton 

P. Hogg 

C. J. Mead 



Bulletin of the 

BRITISH ORNITHOLOGISTS' CLUB 

1 

Vol. 94 No. 1 Published: 20 March, 1974 

L " * Ap %l97d\ 

The six hundred and eighty-fifth meeting of the Club was held at the Cafe 

Royal, 68 Regent Street, London, W.i, on Tuesday 27th November 1973 
at 7 p.m. 

Chairman: Sir Hugh Elliott, BlTo^Te., present 16 members and 6 guests. 

The speaker was Dr. Jan Wattel who addressed the Club on Moult in 
relation to life cycle in some non-passerines and illustrated his talk with 
slides. 

The six hundred and eighty-sixth meeting of the Club was held at the Cafe 
Royal, 68 Regent Street, London, W.i, on Tuesday 15th January 1974 at 
7 p.m. 

Chairman: Sir Hugh Elliott, Bt., o.b.e., present 26 members and 18 guests. 

The speaker was Sir Peter Scott, c.b.e., d.s.c, who addressed the Club on 
Individuality in birds and illustrated his talk with slides of Bewick's Swans 
Cygnus bewickii and other wildfowl. 

Report of the Committee for 1973 

Six meetings of the Club were held in 1973, all at the Cafe Royal. The number 
of members and guests attending was 176, compared with 191 in 1972. 
Despite a prospective increase of charges in 1974, the advantages of the Cafe 
Royal as a venue were considered, after due investigation, to justify a con- 
tinuation of present arrangements, except possibly for holding one Buffet 
Supper meeting (probably in July). 

Leaflets, which described the advantages of membership of the Club and, 
for those ineligible to join as members, of subscription to the Bulletin^ were 
enclosed in the July 1973 number of Ibis and have contributed to the satis- 
factory numbers of 30 new members and five new non-member subscribers 
to the Bulletin in 1973. The Committee regrets to report the death of two 
members, Mr. R. P. Borrett and Mr. K. D. Smith, and there were three 
resignations, whilst the membership of seven members was terminated under 
Rule 4. There was thus an increase in membership of 18. An increased num- 
ber of members and of non-member subscribers is important for the financial 
stability of the Club. The leaflet is continuing to bring in some new members 
and subscribers but it is hoped that members will recommend membership 
of the Club or subscription to the Bulletin (£3 • 50 p. a. for non-members) to 
friends or institutions who may possibly be interested. 

Four numbers of the Bulletin were published in 1973, with a total of 176 
pages. Arrangements have now been made for authors of papers exceeding 
one page in the Bulletin to obtain separates of them and 16 separates will be 
supplied free in respect of each such paper, commencing with the March 
1974 number of the Bulletin. Mr. C. W. Benson ends his term of office as 
Editor at the Annual General Meeting. He is unable to stand for re-election 
owing to the pressure of other work over the next year. Sir Hugh Elliott has 



agreed to be nominated as Editor but hopes to be able to resign in favour of 
Mr. Benson if the latter feels able to accept nomination in 1975. 

Copies of the Accounts will be available zt the Annual General Meeting 
and will be published subsequently in the Bulletin. It is not possible to comment 
here in detail on the financial position, as this Report must go to press before 
the Accounts are available. It is expected, however, that there will be a deficit on 
the year, as sales of back-numbers of the Bulletin have not reached the 
abnormally high figure of 1972. Difficulty has been caused in recent years by 
members who have not paid subscriptions due or who have paid only at a 
lower rate than has become current (£1 • 50 p. a.). Steps are being taken to re- 
duce the loss from this cause and it is satisfactory to report that in several cases 
arrears have already been paid. In view of the Club's need for support, to meet 
costs which still tend to increase despite the saving made by quarterly publica- 
tion of the Bulletin, it is much to be hoped that the process will continue. 



Notes on the Grey-breasted Crake Laterallus exilis 

by F. Haver schmidt 

Received jth November, 1973 
In Surinam Laterallus exilis is not uncommon in densely overgrown marshes 
where it is usually only seen when flushed and flying off with dangling legs low 
over the vegetation to alight within a short distance (Haverschmidt 1968). 
Hence it is difficult to collect. In these rather wet places it is often in company 
with the still smaller Yellow-breasted Crake Por^ana flaviventer. 

In December 1972 I established that it also inhabits a totally different dry 
habitat. On the outskirts of rapidly expanding Paramaribo there is a large 
house building project on the former plantations Tourtonne and Ma Retraite. 
Streets had been built, and between them were open plots, well drained and dry, 
of area about 200 by 100 metres and thickly overgrown with tall grass to a 
height of about one metre. On 23 December a mowing machine was cutting 
grass, starting at the outside and steadily moving inward. When only a narrow 
strip of tall grass was left, a crowd of small boys followed, running on each side 
of the machine. Repeatedly a small crake rose from the remaining grass, 
fluttered a short distance to plane down a few metres farther on the open ground 
when it was immediately covered by a bunch of the boys and easily captured. 
Very few birds escaped, and within five minutes I had four birds. On 27 
December two machines were at work in the same area, five more birds being 
taken, and on 30 December I obtained another one. The number of crakes in 
these extensive grass fields must indeed have been very large. No other species 
of crake was observed or captured. The only other bird inhabiting these fields 
in large numbers was the Blue-black Grassquit Volatinia jacarina. 

Of this series of 10 specimens, five were males and five females, and nine 
were in adult plumage. Four males and four females were in breeding condition, 
the males with greatly enlarged testes and females with enlarged ovaries. One ( 
female (27 December) held a fully developed, although unshelled, egg in the 
oviduct. So it was obvious that these specimens had been captured in the breed- 
ing season. Previously, on 4 March 1961, I had obtained two nestlings still 
completely in black down. In plumage, the immature specimen (male) lacks 
the chestnut on the nape, hindneck and mantle. It is uniform plain brown on the 
upperparts, except for the grey crown. Two other immature specimens which 
I collected on 22 and 29 January 1961 are similar. There is great variation in 



the pale barring on the wing coverts. In only one male is it prominent, and on 
four females it is very faint. In the others — one male and four females, including 
the immature — the wing coverts are plain brown with no barring at all. 
Although generally similar in colour, the males are easily distinguishable by 
the somewhat darker grey on the breast, contrasting more strongly with the 
white throat than in the females. 

The iris was red with an orange eyelid, the legs ochre yellow. In the adults 
the upper mandible was horn brown except for the lower part of the base, 
which was greenish yellow (as in illuminating paint), extending to the nostrils. 
The lower mandible was also the same greenish yellow. In immatures the upper 
mandible was wholly horn brown, and the greenish yellow was only faintly 
apparent on the lower mandible. 

As eight out of the nine birds in adult plumage were in breeding condition, 
it is somewhat strange that one of these nine (adult female, 27 December) was 
moulting all its primaries, all still in sheath, so that at this time it would have 
been unable to fly. It is clear that the wing moult of Laterallus exilis is syn- 
chronous as in L. melanophaius but different from L. viridis (Stresemann & 
Stresemann 1966). This moulting female was the only adult in the series which 
was not in breeding condition. 

Some of the small South American crakes may be wanderers, as was estab- 
lished by Beebe (1947) for Neocrex erjthrops in Venezuela. Two records from 
Surinam suggest that this may also apply to L. exilis, since I received two 
females (2 July i960 and 13 February 1962) that had been captured at night at 
lighted houses in Paramaribo. 

My 10 specimens weighed: 5^ 32-4 - 37-7 (34*6) g, 5$$ 28-9 - 39-0 
(34-0) g. The heaviest female was the one which had an unshelled egg in the 
oviduct. 

References : 

Beebe, W. 1947. Avian migration at Rancho Grande in north central Venezuela. Zoologica 

32: 166. 
Haverschmidt, F. 1968. Birds of Surinam. Edinburgh & London: Oliver & Boyd. 
Stresemann, E. & Stresemann, V. 1966. Die mauser der vogel. Journ. Ornith. 107, sonderheft: 

141-155. 



The Whale-headed Stork in Ethiopia 

by Fred Duckworth 

Received 3rd July, 1973 
Mr. T. Mattanovich reported seeing the Whale-headed Stork Balaeniceps rex 
Gould along the Baro River in western Ethiopia, west of Gambela, both in the 
rains (May-October) and in the dry season (November-April). This was duly 
recorded by Urban (1967) and again by Urban & Brown (1971). 

While on safari in the Gambela District in the first fortnight of April 1973 
I saw Whale-headed Storks as follows : — firstly, at the Ubela Waterhole 
freshwater reedbeds, 7°3o'N, 34°o3'E, one bird; secondly, a few days later, in 
similar habitat just north of Tedo, 7°5 5'N, 34°03'E, two pairs together. On 
both occasions the birds were very shy, allowing an approach no closer than 
75 metres. But both times I was able to obtain a photograph and so positively 
confirm the occurrence of this species in Ethiopia. Local information is that the 
Whale-headed Stork is resident in Gambela, although there is not yet a 
breeding record. 



References : 

Urban, Emil K. 1967. Possible occurrence of the Whale-headed Stork in Ethiopia. Journ, 

E. Afr. Nat. Hist. Soc. 26(2): 87-88. 
Urban, Emil K. & Brown, Leslie H. 1971. A checklist of the birds of Ethiopia. Addis Ababa: 

Haile Sellassie I Univ. Press. 
[The author of the above note is a Regional Wild Life Warden in Ethiopia Copies of the 
two photographs which he obtained, unquestionably of Balaeniceps rex, have been deposited 
in the University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge. — Ed.]. 



Cyanoramphus malherbi, is it a colour morph 
of C. auriceps ? 

by D. T. Holy oak 

Received 22nd October, iyj) 
The Orange-fronted Parakeet Cyanoramphus malherbi of New Zealand has been 
treated as a valid species by almost every authority since it was first described 
by De Souance in 1857. Examination of museum specimens and a search of the 
literature have convinced me that the taxonomic status of this bird needs to be 
reassessed. This paper discusses the available evidence bearing on the relation- 
ship of C. malherbi and the Yellow-fronted Parakeet C. auriceps auriceps, 
leading to the conclusion that C. malherbi is probably a colour morph of C. a. 
auriceps, although direct proof is lacking. 

Si%e and Structure: Oliver (1955), Falla et al. (1970) and Harrison (1970) 
quote early accounts which describe C. malherbi as slightly smaller than C. a. 
auriceps, with a smaller, more slender, bill. The ranges of measurements quoted 
by Oliver seem to confirm this size difference, but they do not agree with my 
own measurements (cf. Table I). Table I gives data suggesting that bill-length 
measurements of both forms are bimodally distributed. The two peaks pre- 
sumably correspond to a sexual dimorphism in size, but few accurately sexed 
specimens are available to test this hypothesis. Wing-length measurements 
may also be bimodally distributed, but with much more overlap than those for 
bill-length. Statistical testing shows a high probabliity of both sets of measure- 
ments being representative of the same population (Table I). 

TABLE 1 

Measurements of Cyanoramphus malherbi and C. auriceps auriceps. Because few accurately 
sexed specimens are available all measurements for each form are listed together. X = mean, 
n = sample size, s == standard deviation. 

Bill length (mm) 
9 10 ii 12 13 14 15 16 X n s X±2s 

C. malherbi 
01543510 12-4 19 1-39 9-6-15-2 

C. a. auriceps 
1 1 10 1 3 11 3 2 12-7 32 1-82 9-1-16-3 

Wing length (mm) 
100- 102- 104- 106- 108- no- 112- 114- 116- 
101 103 105 107 109 in 113 115 117 X n s X ± 2s 

C. malherbi 
3 2 5 1 5 1 o 1 o 107 18 3-67 99-114 

C. a. auriceps 
3 4 5 7 4 4 2 2 4 108 35 4-82 98-117 

4 



Fewer comparative measurements of the lengths of tail and tarsus, and of 
the depth and width of the bill, likewise show no significant differences between 
C. malherbi and C. a. auriceps. Nor are there consistent differences in the shape 
and structure of the bill, legs or feet. 

There are neither consistent differences nor large average differences between 
the two forms in the shape and relative lengths of the individual remiges and 
rectrices, nor in the rest of the plumage. 

Colouration: The usual colouration of the plumage and bare parts of each 
form may be compared as follows (checked with ten specimens of each form) : 





C. a. auriceps 


C. malherbi 


Forehead 


scarlet 


orange 


Crown 


golden-yellow 


lemon-yellow 


Lores 


scarlet above, yellow- 


orange above, light green 




green below 


below 


Chin 


light yellow-green 


light green 


Ear-coverts 


yellow-green 


green 


Sides of neck, nape, 


yellow-green 


green 


mantle, back, scapulars, 






upper tail-coverts 






Rump 


yellow-green with 


green with small patch 




small patch of 


of orange-tipped 




scarlet-tipped 


feathers at side 




feathers at side 




Throat, breast, belly, 


light yellow-green 


light green 


thighs, under tail- 






coverts 






Exposed parts of 


yellow-green 


green 


greater, median and 






lesser wing-coverts 






Exposed parts of primary- 


deep blue 


deep blue 


coverts and 






feathers of alula 






Primaries 


blackish-brown with 


blackish-brown with blue 



Secondaries 



Lesser underwing- 

coverts 

Greater underwing- 

coverts 

Rectrices 



Bill 



Cere 
Iris 

Legs and feet 



blue on outer webs of 
outer primaries, tur- 
quoise on outer webs 
of inner primaries 
green outer webs 



light green 

blackish-brown 

middle pair mainly 
green above, others 
turquoise and blue 
above 

Blackish-grey with 
large blue-grey area 
in middle of upper 
mandible 
blackish-grey 
orange-yellow 
dark grey 



on outer webs of most 
primaries, a little tur- 
quoise on outer webs of 
innermost 

blue-green outer webs on 
outermost secondaries, green 
outer webs on others 
light blue-green 

blackish-brown 

middle pair mainly green 
above, others blue with 
little turquoise 

blackish-grey with 

large blue-grey area 

in middle of upper 

mandible 

blackish-grey 

unknown 

dark grey 



Yellow plumage colouration in parrots is caused by a little-known "floures- 
cent" pigment, by carotenoids, or by both in some species (Volker 1937, 
Auber 1957). Blue colouration is caused by the Tyndall effect of scattering of 
short wave-lengths of light by gas filled vacuoles in the keratin of the feather 



(Auber 1957, Dyck 1971). Green colouration is caused by the combination of 
the Tyndall scattering effect with one or both of the yellow pigments. Red 
colouration is apparently due to carotenoid pigments (Auber 1957, Fox & 
Vevers i960, Dyck 1971). 

I have examined museum skins of C. a. auriceps and C. malherbi in ultra-violet 
light and could detect flourescence from neither the yellow nor green feathers 
(the flourescent yellow pigment retains its ability to flouresce in old museum 
skins: Holyoak unpublished). Hence, from Volker's studies it is apparent that 
the yellow plumage pigment in these two forms is a carotenoid. 

When the descriptions of the colouration of C. a. auriceps and C. malherbi 
given above are analysed in terms of this account of pigmentation it is clear 
that differences in carotenoid pigmentation are sufficient to account for all of 
the colour differences. To summarise: — 



Forehead, Rump 

patches 

Crown 

Green areas of 

plumage 

Remiges and Rectrices 



Heavier carotenoid 
pigmentation 

(C. a. auriceps) 

scarlet 

golden-yellow 

have strong yellow 

tint 

more extensive green 

areas (structural 

blue -j- yellow 

carotenoid = green) 



Lighter carotenoid 
pigmentation 

(C malherbi) 

orange 

lemon- yellow 
lack strong yellow 
tint 

some green areas of 
C. a. auriceps 
replaced by blue 
(green — yellow 
carotenoid = blue) 



There is widespread evidence that birds judged to be closely related from 
other characters have shown rapid evolutionary change in carotenoid pig- 
mentation. For example, Cain (1955) described the apparent hybridisation of 
Platycercus elegans (predominantly red plumage) and P. flaveolus (predominantly 
yellow plumage), with P. "adelaidae" (predominantly orange plumage) as a 
stable intermediate form. Holyoak (1973) gives data suggesting that the genera 
Platycercus and Cyanoramphus are closely related. 

Additional evidence that the extent and colour of avian carotenoid pigmen- 
tation can be under simple genetic control is provided by the striking poly- 
morphisms of some shrikes of the genus Malaconotus (Moreau & Southern 1958, 
Hall, Moreau & Galbraith 1966). The apparently simple genetic control of 
carotenoid pigmentation may in part be due to the inability of birds, like other 
animals, to synthesise carotenoids (cf. Vevers 1964). 

Harrison (1970) states that there are 59 specimens of C. malherbi in museums 
of the world, whereas there must be about 300 of C. a. auriceps. When the small 
total number of specimens of each form is considered, it appears remarkable 
that so many with unusual colouration have been described, even allowing for 
the special value that the Victorian collectors attached to "varieties". C. W. 
Benson {in litt.) has described a specimen which has the dull green body colour 
of C. malherbi with the red forehead of C. a. auriceps (i8/Psi/i9/a/6 in the 
Cambridge Museum Collection). Another intermediate specimen was described 
as Cyanoramphus intermedius Reichenow; from the description of this bird in 
Salvadori (1891) it appears to have been a typical specimen of C. a. auriceps \ 
except that it had the lemon-yellow crown colour of C. malherbi; I have been 
unable to locate the specimen. Harrison (1970) mentions a specimen of C. 
malherbi that Souance described as having a barely distinguishable orange fore- 
head band. Three specimens of C. a. auriceps in the Collection of the British 

6 



Museum (Natural History) at Tring show plumage differences from the 17 
normal specimens of this form in the Collection: — 1847. 1.8. 40 has scarlet tips 
to many feathers in middle of rump; 1897. 11. 10. 644 has scarlet marks on the 
golden-yellow crown feathers; 195 3.62.2 has a few orange marks on the breast 
feathers. 

Thus, although the colour differences between C. a. auriceps and C. malherbi 
seem large at first sight, comparatively small differences in pigmentation are 
sufficient to account for all of them. These differences are of a kind that seem 
to be under simple genetic control in the closely related genus, Platycercus and 
are of a similar kind to the phenotypic differences in a classic instance of avian 
polymorphism in the genus Malaconotus. In addition there are two specimens 
showing some characters of one form with some of the other, and several 
others showing individual variation in the extent or kind of carotenoid pig- 
mentation. 

Range and Status: C. a. auriceps is known from the North and South Islands 
of New Zealand, Three Kings, Hen Island, Barrier Islands, Kapiti, Solander 
Islands, Stewart Island and outlying islets, and the Auckland Islands (Fleming 
1953, Kinsky et al. 1970). C. a. forbesi, a much larger representative form of C. 
auriceps, occurs on the Chatham Islands. C. malherbi is definitely known only 
from South Island and Stewart Island; old records from Hen Island and Little 
Barrier Island lack sufficient supporting detail to be considered fully acceptable 
and old records from North Island are poorly substantiated (Fleming 1953, 
Kinsky et al. 1970, Harrison 1970). C. malherbi has not been reported from any 
locality on South Island at which C. a. auriceps is unknown, and the older 
unconfirmed reports of this form are all from islands where C. a. auriceps is 
common. 

Oliver (1955) and others described a decrease in the status of C. a. auriceps 
and C. novae^elandiae on North and South Islands that occurred through the 
first part of this century. Both species remained common on the smaller 
outlying islands. Turbott (1967), and the annual lists of New Zealand bird 
observations published in Notomis, suggest that C. a. auriceps has regained 
much lost ground in the last few decades, so that it is now quite common in the 
larger forest tracts; C. novae^elandiae has remained rare. 

Harrison (1970) summarises all of the known records of C. malherbi, of which 
there were numerous reports in the nineteenth century, but only seven this 
century, in 1904, 1913, 1928, then a gap until 1949, 1955, 1963 and 1965. 
i Generally, it appears that the decrease of C. malherbi approximately coincided 
with those of C. a. auriceps and C. novae^elandiae, although it appears to have 
always been rarer than those forms. The recent records of C. malherbi could 
reflect a recent increase in its status, as well as increased observation. 

Habitat, Composition of Flocks: Early accounts suggested that C. malherbi was 
restricted to montane scrub and forest at high elevations, but Harrison (1970) 
summarises many later records which show that it occurs mainly at lower 
elevations than this, in similar forests to those occupied by C. a. auriceps. 

Most C. malherbi seen in the field have been associated with parties or flocks 
of C. a. auriceps. Haast probably saw more C. malherbi in the field than any other 
observer; he stated {fide Oliver 1955), that "this species and the Yellow-fronted 
Parakeet occur always together, but in some localities the first and in others the 
second is predominant". Some of the recent reports of C. malherbi were at sites 
where C. a. auriceps was seen at about the same time (Anon. 1949, Breen 1956, 
I 959)- 

Food: Reischek (1885) said that the food of C. malherbi consists of berries 
and seeds, and Harrison (1970) quotes a label on a specimen in the British 



Museum (Natural History) stating "stomach small grubs". The food of C. a. 
auriceps consists of a wide variety of vegetable matter, ranging from fruit and 
seeds, to buds, leaves and the nectar and pollen of flowers. Insects have not 
been recorded in the diet of this form, but they are probably taken in small 
quantities as they are by many other platycercine parrots. 

Behaviour and Nesting: Hardly anything has been recorded of the behaviour of 
C. malherbi, and very little of that of C. a. auriceps. Falla et al. (1966) state that 
the voice of C. malherbi apparently bears a close resemblance to those of C. 
auriceps and C. novae^elandiae, but details are not available in the literature. 

Apart from a clutch of three eggs said to be of C. malherbi from Mt. Peel 
which are now in the Canterbury Museum, New Zealand, no nest of this form 
has been recorded in the wild. The literature appears to lack any reference to 
either pure pairs of C. malherbi or mixed pairs with C. a. auriceps. 

C. malherbi has only once been bred in captivity. From the account of Prest- 
wich quoted by Harrison (1970), it would appear that a pair kept by De 
Laurier produced a brood of four young in France in 1883. De Laurier also kept 
C. auriceps at that time, but unfortunately there is no indication of whether or 
not they were in separate cages from the breeding pair of C. malherbi ', nor are 
there descriptions of the nestlings, all of which might have died before they 
were fully feathered from the meagre information given. 

Discussion of the Status ofC. malherbi: The information given above makes it 
reasonable to hypothesise that C. malherbi is a colour morph of C. a. auriceps 
rather than the distinct species it has been widely assumed to be. 

The differences between these forms in size and bill structure that are often 
quoted appear to be based on the study of too few specimens, so that what 
appears to be a sexual size difference may have been mistaken for a species 
difference. Other structural differences appear to be lacking, and the colour 
differences can be explained in terms of small changes in carotenoid pigmen- 
tation that are probably under simple genetic control. Evidence that C. malherbi 
is only known from areas in which C. auriceps occurred, and that C. malherbi 
"always" occurred in flocks of C. auriceps when it was more common, support 
the colour-morph hypothesis. Insufficient is known of the behaviour, vocali- 
sations and nesting of both forms for these kinds of information to be used in 
assessing their status. 

Evidence that bill size and structure are similar in the two forms suggests 
they have similar feeding ecology. As most C. malherbi have apparently been 
seen in mixed flocks with C. a. auriceps in typical habitats for the latter, it is 
difficult to see how the ecological segregation required by the Volterra-Gause 
Principle could be maintained, although such segregation could occur only 
at times of food shortage. Congeneric species of island birds often show larger 
differences in bill size than continental species (Lack 1971), and with parrots 
generally, closely related sympatric species occurring together in the same 
habitats usually differ markedly in size, particularly bill size. These ecological 
reasons tend to suggest that the two forms are conspecific. 

Observations on the occurrence of mixed pairs or of offspring differing from 
the parents are necessary to test the colour morph hypothesis, and these are 
not available. As C. malherbi is now rare it seems unlikely that field-workers in 
New Zealand will be able to fill these gaps in the knowledge available, lthough 
this is possible if a sighting of this form is followed up by intensive observation 
and nest-hunting. In the meantime, it is probably best to treat C. malherbi as a 
synonym of C. a. auriceps on the basis of the inferential evidence available. 

Acknowledgements : I am grateful to the staff of the Sub-department of Orni- 
thology, British Museum (Natural History) for allowing access to specimens in j 



their care, and particularly to Dr. D. W. Snow for help in consulting the 
literature. Mr. P. J. Morgan made a number of useful suggestions and helped 
me to examine specimens in his care at the Liverpool Museum. Mr. C. W. 
Benson was kind enough to examine and measure specimens in the Cambridge 
Museum for me and made useful suggestions. Mrs. M. LeCroy kindly measured 
specimens in the American Museum of Natural History for me, and Dr. C. J. O. 
Harrison made helpful comments on my manuscript. 

References : 

Anon. 1949. Bird life in Collin's Valley, Wakatipu. A^. Z. Bird Notes 3: 100. 

Auber, L. 1957. The distribution of structural colours and unusual pigments in the class 

Aves. Ibis 99: 463-476. 
Breen, M. J. 1956. In "Classified summarised notes". Notornis 6: 207. 
— 1959- In "Classified summarised notes". Notornis 8: 74. 
Cain, A. J. 1955. A revision of Trichoglossus haematodus and of the Australian platycercine 

parrots. Ibis 97: 432-479. 
Dyck, J. 1 97 1. Structural and spectral reflectance of green and blue feathers of the Rose- 
faced Lovebird Agapornis roseicollis. K. danske Vidensk. Selsk. Biol. Skr. 18: 1-67. 
Falla, R. A., Sibson, R. B. & Turbott, E. G. 1970. A field guide to the birds of New Zealand. 

2nd ed. London: Collins. 
Fleming, C A.etal.195}. Checklist of New Zealand birds. Wellington, N. Z.: A. H. & A. W. 

Reed for Orn. Soc. of New Zealand. 
Fox, H. M. & Vevers, G. i960. The nature of animal colours. London: Sidgwick & Jackson. 
Hall, B. P., Moreau, R. E. & Galbraith, I. C. J. 1966. Polymorphism and parallelism in the 

African bush shrikes of the genus Malaconotus (includes Chlorophoneus). Ibis 108: 

161-182. 
Harrison, M. 1970. The Orange-fronted Parakeet Cyanoramphus malherbi. Notornis 17: 1 1 5— 

I25 ' 
Holyoak, D. T. 1973. Comments on taxonomy and relationships in the parrot subfamilies 

Nestorinae, Loriinae and Platycercinae. Emu 73: 157-176. 
Kinsky, F. C. et al. 1970. Annotated checklist of the birds of New Zealand. Wellington, N. Z.: 

A. H. & A. W. Reed for Orn. Soc. N. Z. 
I Lack, D. 1 971. Ecological isolation in birds. Oxford & Edinburgh: Blackwell. 

Moreau, R. E. & Southern, H. N. 1958. Geographical variation and polymorphism in 

Chlorophoneus shrikes. Proc. %ool. Soc. London 130: 301-328. 
Oliver, W. R. B. New Zealand birds. 2nd. ed. Wellington, N. Z.: A. H. & A. W. Reed. 
Reischek, A. 1885. On the habits of New Zealand birds. Trans. N. Z. Inst. 18: 98. 
Salvadori, T. 1891. Catalogue of the Psittaci, or Parrots, in the Collection of the British 

Museum. Cat. Bds. Brit. Mus. 20. London. 
Turbott, E. G. (ed.) 1967. Butter's birds of New Zealand (reprint of Buller 1888, 2nd. ed.). 

London: MacDonald. 
Vevers, G. 1964. Article "Colour" in Thompson, A. L. (ed.), New Diet. Birds. London: 

Nelson. 
Volker, O. 1937. Uber fluoreszierende, gelbe federpigmente bei papageien, eine neue 

klasse von federfarbstoffen. fourn. Ornith. 85: 136-146. 



Three water birds of Wallacea 

by C. M. N. White 

Received 14th November, 197) 
This note provides new information on three species of heron, stork and ibis 
which occur in Wallacea. 

Ardea novaehollandiae 

This common Australian heron has been recorded from a number of islands 
in southern Wallacea: Lombok, Sumbawa, Flores, Sumba, Savu, Timor, 



Roma, Babar, Tenimber Islands, Kei Islands, Manggoer, Manawoka, Goram 
and Madu. There is also a record from Kema, north Celebes. Amadon (1942: 
2-3) reviewed geographical variation in this species, finding birds from Walla- 
cea identical with those of Australia. He did not mention that birds in Wallacea 
are probably non-breeding migrants from Australia. 

Rensch (1931: 502) found the species common in Lombok, Sumbawa and 
Flores from March to July, in swamps and rice paddies near the coast and 
flighting to roosts in the evening. Specimens collected were not in breeding 
condition, and from March to early May were in wing moult. Other species of 
heron breed in these islands from April to July. 

I have assembled the dates of 23 specimens collected in Wallacea. All fall 
between March and October apart from one from Timor in February. In north 
Australia breeding takes place from December to February. All the data from 
Wallacea seems to indicate that there is marked movement into a well defined 
part of Wallacea of migrants after breeding, and that this species must be added 
to the number of Australian birds which regularly winter in Wallacea. 

Ciconia episcopus 

This stork occurs in Wallacea in Celebes, Muna and Buton: and in Lombok, 
Sumbawa and Flores. They have sometimes been considered a subspecies 
distinct from the nominate Asiatic C. episcopus, under the name C. e. neglecta, 
but there has been uncertainty about this. When Finsch described Dissoura 
neglecta in 1904 he did not indicate the material upon which the name was based 
but merely gave the range as "Java, Sumbawa, Lombok, Celebes, Philippines". 
However in Notes from the Leyden Museum, 16 July, 1905 : 152 he states that 
he had five specimens from Java, a similar number from Celebes and one from 
Sumbawa, and that the Philippine birds were "probably" the same as these. 

Riley (1924: 28) recorded four specimens from Celebes which differed from 
birds from Burma, Thailand and the Philippines in having the distal two-thirds 
of the bill red with basal third black instead of having the bill dusky with only 
the tip and a line along the culmen red. He adopted the name neglecta for them, 
but pointed out that the exact type locality of that form was not known, and 
that in any case Philippine birds were like nominate episcopus. 

Chasen (193 5 : 53) places neglecta as a synonym of episcopus, giving its type 
locality as Java, and stating in a footnote "We cannot separate D. e. neglecta". 
Stresemann (1941 : 2) confirms the bill colour described by Riley in respect of 
two more birds from Celebes and adds that one from Lombok agrees with them. 

I am very grateful to Dr. G. F. Mees for information on questions discussed 
here. All the birds examined by Finsch are still in the Leiden Museum except 
for one from Java. None of the specimens was designated as the type, so that 
all are syntypes. All show the extensively red bills described by Riley and 
Stresemann. Dr. Mees himself observed birds in west Java in January 1949, and 
noted at the time that their bills were dark red brown, black at base and along 
ridges. D. e. neglecta it appears can be separated from nominate episcopus by the 
colour of the bill, and birds from Java agree with those of Wallacea. The dark 
bill of the nominate form, apart from descriptions in the literature, is shown 
well in a coloured photograph in Kahl (1971 : plate V). Chasen erred in giving 
the type locality of neglecta as Java, for he gives no indication that he was in- 
tending to designate a restricted type locality. 

It seems possible that nominate episcopus is separated from neglecta by a wide 
geographical gap. For the Malay peninsula Chasen gives episcopus as only 
occurring in the north: further south he gives only Perak where C. stormi is 



recorded, considered by Chasen as a separate species. C. stormi occurs in 
Borneo and is represented from east Sumatra (U.S. National Museum) and from 
North Pagi, West Sumatran Islands (Mus. Comp. Zool., Harvard). Chasen 
quotes Sumatra as part of the range of C. episcopus but this needs verification 
from any specimens that may exist. Mr. I. C. J. Galbraith kindly informs me 
that there are none in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.), Tring. Unless it can be 
shown that nominate episcopus does occur in Sumatra, stormi is interposed 
between it and neglecta. 

Plegadis falcinellus 

The status of the glossy ibis in Wallacea is obscure. It is evidently well known 
in Celebes where it was first collected at Makassar in^i828. There are series 
of adult and immature birds in the Leiden Museum, but Dr. G. F. Mees kindly 
informs me that there are no juveniles or any trace of evidence that it breeds. 
Raven collected eight adults and immatures in March 191 7, at Rano Lindoe in 
north-central Celebes. Coomans de Ruiter (195 1 : 307) recorded large flights in 
V-formation along the coast in south-west Celebes in February with a flock of 
over 100 on 5 April. 

If these many glossy ibises do not breed in Celebes it is difficult to imagine 
their origin. The species is unrecorded in Thailand or southern Vietnam: it 
is also almost unknown in Malaysia, with a single record from south Borneo 
in 185 1, and a breeding population in west Java. In the Philippines it is re- 
corded from Luzon and Mindanao and Delacour & Mayr (1946: 32) state 
"resident and breeds locally in Mindanao". It is difficult to believe that large 
numbers of birds move from either west Java or Mindanao to Celebes. 

There are no records from southern Wallacea, and van Bemmel (1948) does 
not list it from the Moluccas. Actually Meyer & Wiglesworth (1898, ii: 803) 
do mention a specimen from Ternate in north Moluccas, but perhaps van 
Bemmel discarded this as one of the many plumage trade records bearing this 
as a fictitious locality. However Mrs. M. LeCroy has kindly informed me that 
in the American Museum of Natural History there is a female, AMNH 531287, 
Halmahera, October, 1884, Bruijn collectors. It seems therefore that these 
Moluccan records justify adding the species to the list of birds known from 
these islands. They are likely to be vagrants from Australia and there are few 
records from New Guinea, which are also suspected of being birds moving 
from Australia. These records from both Moluccas serve to emphasise the 
curious position in Celebes, even though they provide additional localities for 
Wallacea. 

References : 

Amadon, D. 1942. Birds collected during the Whitney South Sea Expedition. XLIX. Notes 

on some non-passerine genera. Amer. Mus. Novit. 1175. 
Chasen, F. N. 1935. A hand list of Malaysian birds. Bull. Raffles Mus. 11. 
Coomans de Ruiter, L. 195 1. Vogels van het dal van de Bodjo-rivier (Zuid-Celebes). 

Ardea 39: 261-318. 
Delacour, J. & Mayr, E. 1946. Birds of the Philippines. New York: Macmillan. 
Kahl, M. P. 1 971. Social behaviour and taxonominc relationships of the storks. The Living 

Bird 10: 1 51-170. 
Meyer, A. B. & Wiglesworth, L. W. 1898. The birds of Celebes and the neighbouring islands. 

Berlin: Friedlander. 
Rensch, B. 1931. Die vogel von Lombok, Sumbawa und Flores. Mitt. Zool. Mus. Berlin 17: 

451-637. 
Riley, J. H. 1924. A collection of birds from north and north-central Celebes. Proc. U.S. 

Nat. Mus. 64(16): 1-118. 
Stresemann, E. 1941. Die vogel von Celebes. Journ. Ornith. 89: 1-102. 
Van Bemmel, A. C. V. 1948. A faunal list of the birds of the Moluccan Islands. Treubia 19: 

323-402. 



New observations of migrants and vagrants 
for Aldabra, Farquhar and Astove Atolls, Indian Ocean 

by C. B. Frith 

Received 2nd November, 1973 

Introduction 

Since 1966 Aldabra Atoll (see maps in Stoddart 1971 for location) has been 
the subject of considerable scientific attention, brought about partly by a 
threat to use it as a military airfield and as a site for a major broadcasting 
station (Stoddart 1968). In 1971 The Royal Society of London opened a 
Research Station south of the Old Settlement on West Island on Aldabra, 
after plans for the above projects were halted as a result of economic and 
political pressures. I was engaged at this station as a member of the scientific 
staff from 9 April 1972 to 2 April 1973, and it was from there that I carried 
out field work for the present paper. My main concern was with the land 
birds and it must be stressed that notes given here on shore birds are the 
result of purely incidental observations. 

The majority of records are from direct observation. Whenever possible, 
any doubtful birds were photographed for confirmation of identification or 
specimens were collected. Benson & Penny (1971) dealt with all the species 
of land birds recorded for Aldabra, and where applicable I have made com- 
parative comments. A few records are added for Astove and Farquhar Atolls 
made during a day stop en route for the Seychelles from Aldabra. 

The scientific nomenclature followed is that of Forbes-Watson (1972) 
being the most recent for the Malagasy Region. The following symbols are 
used after the species name : — 

* new record for atoll. 
j- specimen obtained. 
% photograph obtained. 

Specimens and photographs are in the British Museum (Natural History), 
Tring. 

Systematic List 

Anhinga rufa, African Darter *l 

On 16 July 1972 a Seychelles labourer reported a "new bird with a very 
long dagger-like beak". A bird fitting this description was observed by a 
number of the Station staff on 29 July and identified as an African Darter. 
The bird was subsequently seen at least five times, the last date being 16 
September 1972. All sightings took place around the Research Station and 
West Channels. The bird was in fine condition and at low water was seen 
perched on small rocks projecting a foot or two above the water surface on 
the open reef flat. It was only observed swimming once, in the deep water at 
Passe Femme where the tidal flow was considerable. Attempts to find the bird 
after 16 September failed. It could have been either A. r. rufa of Africa or 
vulsini of Madagascar. 

Falco peregrinus, Peregrine Falcon *{ 

Two individuals were seen, both in the vicinity of the Research Station. 
The first observed on 12 December 1972 was in immature plumage and the 
photographs obtained leave no doubt as to its identification. On 23 March 
1973 a second was observed, perched in sparse Casuarina woodland, and a 
good view was had for about two minutes. This individual was in fine adult 



plumage. Probably these were both the palaearctic F. p. calidus, recorded 
from Africa (White 1965 : 61) and from Mauritius (Benson & Penny 1971 : 

515). 

Falco eleonorae , Eleonora's Falcon *f 

Two specimens were collected near the Old Settlement, on 1 and 17 
November respectively. Both were light phase female birds, with un- 
developed oocytes and fully ossified skulls. The first was in very worn 
plumage with no sign of moult; it had a fresh dead weight of 273 g and a 
wing length of 309 mm. The second was less worn with no sign of active 
moult but with new primaries and secondaries. The fresh dead weight was 
270 g and wing length 323 mm. The gizzards of the specimens were empty 
save for the remains of one, unidentifiable, ant. 

A live specimen was found on 1 December 1972 in very worn plumage, it 
was extremely thin and one eye had recently been damaged badly. This was 
possibly due to Pied Crows Corvus albus which were seen to attack other 
large falcons (see below). This bird was kept in captivity for eight weeks and 
then set free. Benson & Penny (1971 : 515) give an almost certain sight record 
for 4 March (1968), but the above two are the first entirely certain records. 
Others are included below. 
Falco spp. 

A considerable number of falcons were seen between June 1972 and March 
1973, most of them appearing in November and December. All were larger 
than the local kestrel, F. neirtoni, and mostly of the appearance of F. eleonorae. 
Those of which I had poor views could possibly have been F. eleonorae or F. 
concolor. All observations are given below and were made near or within the 
Old Settlement save the first: — 

16 June 1972: Cinq Cases Camp, South Island. Brief view of large, dark 
falcon. 

31 October 1972: With little doubt a single F. eleonorae seen in flight. 
16 November 1972 : Poor views of single bird but appeared smaller than 
F. eleonorae and not as rufous on ventral side. Snatching insects in flight, 
once seen to hold insect in feet and feed in flight. Hovered for short 
periods once or twice. 

21 November 1972 : Three falcons soaring and gliding. Two identical to 
specimens of F. eleonorae collected and one much darker. One was being 
mobbed by a Pied Crow. 

25 November 1972 : A dark falcon flying very high and being chased by 
four Pied Crows. 

27 November 1972: A lone falcon seen at very close quarters, perched 
six m high in Casuarina tree. I have no doubt this bird was a dark phase 
F. eleonorae. 

2 December 1972: A dark falcon was seen twice during the day, prob- 
ably the same individual. On one occasion it was being severely mobbed 
by a kestrel, F. newtoni, and on the other by a Pied Crow and an Aldabra 
Drongo Dicrurus aldabranus. 
Clearly the above falcons, including F. peregrinus and F. eleonorae, were part 
of a migration movement passing over Aldabra mostly during November 
and December. These birds appeared to stay a very short time on the atoll, 
if at all, possibly as a result of mobbing by resident birds or lack of suitable 
food. 
Pluvialis squatarola, Grey Plover 

Single or small groups of up to four birds were seen near the Research 

13 



Station during every month except July, August, October and January. In 
addition, approximately a dozen were observed feeding on sand flats between 
He Michel and South Island on 17 June 1972, and four at Dune Jean-Louis on 

5 March 1973. A single bird in both December and March was in breeding 
plumage, otherwise all individuals were in non-breeding dress. Probably this 
species can be found on Aldabra in every month, as can be inferred from the 
records quoted by Penny (1971: 552). 

Tringa hypokucos, Common Sandpiper 

Only one individual seen, feeding on the sand bar off-shore from 
Research Station, 9 May 1972. This does not appear to be at all a common 
species on Aldabra. 

Calidris minuta, Little Stint 

Noted on two occasions: — 3 October 1972: Twelve in a mixed flock 
(including Turnstone, Greater Sand Plover, Whimbrel and Crab Plover) off- 
shore from Research Station; 5 March 1973: Approximately 200, forming 
major part of a mixed flock (including Grey Plover, Greater Sand Plover and 
Crab Plover) on beach and reef flat at Dune Jean-Louis, South Island. 
Curlew Sandpipers were also present both times in small numbers for 
comparison. The records in Penny (1 971 : 5 5 3) do not indicate that the Little 
Stint can be normally numerous on Aldabra. 

Dromas ardeola, Crab Plover 

Seen throughout the year, in flocks usually consisting of 20 to 50 indi- 
viduals. Conspicuously larger flocks, approximate numbers per flock, were 
as follows : — 

17 May 1972: 1,000 birds on lies Moustique. 

25 October 1972 : 450 at Dune Jean-Louis. 

27 October 1972: 250 flew past Research Station from south to north. 

5 February 1973 : 450 flew past Research Station from south to north. 

7 February 1973 : 400 flew past Research Station from south to north. 

The larger flocks observed flying northward are worthy of note. It is true 
some flocks were seen flying south past the Station but these were far smaller 
in number and loosely organised compared with the larger ones, and were 
probably feeding birds. The northward bound flocks, however, were in 
tight formation, flying low and fast in a direct line. They were not seen to 
alight or break up whilst within sight of the Station, after which point they 
would shortly have reached the north-west tip of the atoll and the open sea. 
A projected line of their flight path would lead directly to the coast of 
Somalia, where the species is known to breed from March to October (Archer 

6 Godman 1937 : 447). The October flock seen flying north would, however, 
arrive at the end of the breeding season. In any case there seems to be little 
doubt that Aldabra plays an important role in the movements of this species. 

Streptopelia turtur^ Turtle" Dove *f 

A single bird appeared on 4 December 1972, and seen feeding on rice with a 
number of Madagascar Turtle Doves S. picturatahy a chicken pen. D. Good- 
win of the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) examined the specimen and provided 
the following notes: — "I think this bird is of the nominate race, S. t. turtur. 
It agrees well in size with samples of this form and the differences in coloura- 
tion are, I think, due to wear and weathering. Although it is darker than 
specimens (in the British Museum collections) of S. t. turtur (beacuse of wear, 
I think), one would have expected it to be less dark were it referable to the 
paler (and smaller) S. t. arenicola, the larger, reddish population probably 

14 



breeding in the Yarkland regions (Goodwin 1970) or the desert forms S. t. 
hoggara or S. t. isabellina. Specimens of S. t. turtur in the collection have all 
been collected either in their breeding quarters or on migration, so there are 
no December specimens for comparison. It would be of great interest to 
know where this bird would have wintered. It would seem unlikely that it 
was actually on migration in December". 

The specimen is a male and had undeveloped gonads and ossified skull. The 
fresh dead weight was 105 g and wing length 176 mm. 

Cuculus canorus, Grey Cuckoo 

A lone bird was sighted in the palm grove by the Research Station on 2 
November 1972: this was undoubtedly the individual seen on five subse- 
quent occasions, the last being 16 November 1972. Four times the bird was 
seen in a large Tournefortia argentea bush at the crest of a small beach. A 'salt 
and pepper' moth , Utetheisa lactea, was extremely abundant on this bush and 
this insect probably formed a large part of the bird's diet on Aldabra. The 
Aldabra Drongo Dicrurus aldabranus was seen to mob the cuckoo severely. 

Like the cuckoo recorded for Aldabra by Diamond and Penny (in Benson 
& Penny 1971 : 516) this bird appeared as large as any to be seen in England, 
which would appear to rule out the possibility of it being the smaller C. 
poliocephalus which Benson & Penny consider less likely to occur. 

Apus apus, Common Swift 

Benson has asked me to include comment on the identity of the specimen 
collected by Abbott on 1 December 1892, recorded by Benson (1967: 91) as 
A. a. apus. R. K. Brooke (pers. comm. to Benson) re-examined it during a 
visit to the Smithsonian Institution in 1968, and reports as follows: — "The 
specimen was found to be a juvenile A. a. pekinensis. It agreed completely 
with juveniles from Kashmir in lacking the pale patch above the bill which 
juveniles of nominate apus have. This difference (in juveniles) is diagnostic 
between the two subspecies. The fact that it was a juvenile increases the 
chance that the Aldabra bird was lost. No trace of moult in the primaries was 
found in this specimen. However, the specimen reported on by Benson & 
Penny (1971 : 516), in the British Museum, which has been re-examined by 
Benson and P. R. Colston, is still considered to belong to the nominate form. 

Telacanthura ussheri, Mottled Spinetail* 

Swifts were observed on three occasions at the Old Settlement. They were 
about the size of the Common Swift Apus apus, but with distinct white 
rumps and square tails. Two birds seen on both 7 and 8 December 1972 
(probably the same individuals) were observed to have distinct white vents. 
A single individual was seen on 3 January 1973. 

I suspected that these birds might be Telacanthura ussheri. The question 
was referred by Benson to R. K. Brooke, who has commented that the above 
description fits only T. u. stictilaema of eastern Africa or benguellensis of south- 
eastern Africa, the former being on geographical grounds the more likely. 
He adds that this species is not known to have more than local movements, 
and large scale movements are not to be expected. 

Merops superciliosus, Madagascar or Blue-cheeked Bee-eater 

One was seen, perched in the top of a Casuarina tree by the Research 
Station, 15 December 1972. It was not sufficiently closely seen to decide 
whether it was a Madagascar Bee-eater M. s. superciliosus or Blue-cheeked 
Bee-eater M. s. persicus. Benson & Penny (1971 : 517) give an unequivocal 
record of the latter. 

15 



Eurystomus glaucurus, Broad-billed Roller f 

An example was first noted, and collected, at the Old Settlement on 31 
October 1972. It proved to be a male, in very fresh plumage. The skull was 
ossified, fresh dead weight 119 g, and wing length 210 mm. The testes were 
undeveloped, measuring 5 x 3 mm. There were four large insects in the 
gizzard; one of both Homoptera and Hymenoptera, and two Scarabaeidae. 

The wing length clearly indicates that this specimen belongs to the 
Madagascar breeding form, E. g. glaucurus. Benson informs me that two males 
and a female which he and A. Williams collected in Madagascar in November 
1 972/ January 1973 weighed respectively 136, 166, 149 g. The Aldabra 
specimen was evidently emaciated, probably through lack of sufficient 
suitable food. 

Nine sightings of this species followed the above one, involving at least 
six individuals, around the Old Settlement and the Research Station. All were 
during November and December 1972, the last being on 19 December. The 
kestrel Falco newtoni was seen to mob this species. 

All these records are best interpreted as 'fall-outs' on return migration to 
Madagascar. Earlier records are discussed by Benson & Penny (1971 : 517), 
and for another recent one see Benson (1972). 
Hirundo rustka, Swallow 

Three appeared on 19 March 1973 and were about the Research Station 
for a couple of days, appearing toward evening to hunt over the solar stills. 
Previous records of this species on Aldabra are all between 14 March and 10 
April (Benson & Penny 1971 : 520). 
Motacilla alba, White Wagtail * 

D. Bourn reported a single individual at Dune Jean-Louis, South Island, 
on 7 March 1973. The bird was observed for a considerable time, and Bourn 
made extensive notes and provided me with excellent field sketches. He made 
particular note of a grey back and the white on the sides of the head extending 
back to meet the grey mantle, and is familiar with the species in Europe. 
Anthus trivialis, Tree Pipit * f 

This species was first seen near the Research Station on 18 November 1972, 
and an individual, no doubt the same one, was collected at the same site two 
days later. The specimen is in slightly worn plumage, had a fresh dead weight 
of 18 -o g and a wing length of 83 mm. It proved to be a male with gonads 
completely undeveloped and skull not quite fully ossified. 

Three other pipits were seen, all close to the Research Station in Casuarina 
woodland, on 27 November, 17 December 1972 and 13 March 1973. Views 
of the first two were poor but they looked like A., trivialis, and the third 
was virtually certainly that species. 

The specimen confirms that the species does visit Aldabra, and suggests 
that the bird seen by Grubb and Hutson (Benson & Penny 1971 : 5 18) at Cinq 
Cases in January 1968 was this species. 
Oenanthe oenanthe, Wheatear 

A grey-backed male was observed about the Research Station from 2 to 4 
January 1973. Mrs. Loris ToplirTe informed me of another grey-backed bird 
seen inland from the Station on 17 February 1973. Benson & Penny (1971 : 
5 19) recorded this species on Aldabra for the first time, and thought it may 
regularly occur there in extremely small numbers. My observations tend to 
support this contention. For another recent record, see Benson (1972). 
Phy/Ioscopus trochilus}, Willow Warbler? * 

A bird believed to be a Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus was observed 

16 



for about five minutes on one of the small islets inside Passe Femme on 10 
April 1972. Very good views were obtained as the bird fed on insects from 
the foliage of mangrove trees, Rhi^ophora mucronata. It was not collected but 
the possibility of it being some other Phylloscopus sp. on geographical grounds 
is most unlikely. Furthermore, the Willow Warbler has recently been re- 
corded for the Amirante Bank group (Benson 1972). 

Phylloscopus sibilatrix, Wood Warbler *f 

A single bird was collected at the Old Settlement on 12 December 1972, 
whilst feeding on insects from foliage of a Casuarina tree. The fresh dead 
weight was 8-6 g, wing length 73 mm. It proved to be a male, in fresh 
plumage, with totally undeveloped gonads and a fully ossified skull. Insect 
groups represented in the gizzard were, in order of predominance : Hymen- 
optera, Dictyoptera, Diptera. This species is an addition to the list by Forbes- 
Watson (1972), and Moreau (1972 : 102) gives very few African records from 
south of the equator. 

Muscicapa striata. Spotted Flycatcher f 

A specimen was collected just north of the Research Station on 23 Novem- 
ber 1972. It proved to be a male with undeveloped gonads and skull ossi- 
fication incomplete. The fresh dead weight was 14-6 g and wing length 
88 mm. Contents of the gizzard included insects of the following groups: 
Odonata; Coleoptera, Curculionidae; Hymenoptera, Vespoidae; Hemiptera. 
Another individual was seen just south of the Old Settlement, 1 December 
1972. 

Benson & Penny (1 971 : 5 18) give a number of occurrences between 11 and 
28 March, which they considered representative of a northward passage. 
The above two evidently are referable to a southward one. A specimen 
recorded by Benson & Penny was identified as M. s. striata, as is also mine. 

Oriolus oriolus, Golden Oriole 

One bird, in female plumage, was observed foraging on Casuarina foliage, 
19 November 1972, near the Research Station. The only other record of this 
species in the Malagasy Region is that of a single bird collected in March on 
Aldabra (Benson & Penny 1971 : 521). The earlier record was considered to 
be of a lost migrant on northward passage. This November individual 
presumably represents a lost southward bound migrant. 

Astove Atoll 
Eight hours were spent on Astove during 3 April 1973, bird watching in 
the coconut palm grove and mixed scrub near the settlement area. Except for 
the additional information given below the avifauna was the same as recorded 
by Benson (1970). 

Phylloscopus trochllus?, Willow Warbler? * 

A bird thought to be a Willow Warbler was observed taking insects from 
the foliage of a very broad leaved fig-like tree in the centre of the settlement 
area. It was in fine plumage and quiet, and very good views were had. This is 
the first record of a true land bird migrant for Astove Atoll. Considering also 
the records of Phylloscopus spp. already given above, it can be suggested that 
warblers are not so very rare on islands in the Malagasy Region, but orni- 
thologists are. 

Introduced species 

Domestic pigeons Columba livia have recently been introduced by the 
people resident on the atoll. This is most regrettable as the introduced birds 

17 



may well preclude the possibility of future colonization by a wild pigeon 
species. The present population is estimated at approximately 60 birds. Many 
of these can be seen about the settlement (where they are fed), but several 
were flushed from the open mixed scrub a considerable distance from human 
influence. 

Domestic chickens are feral throughout the atoll. Domestic and Muscovy 
Ducks Anas platyrhynchos and Cairina moschata are to be found in and about 
the settlement buildings. 

Farquhar Atoll 

During the eleven hours spent on Farquhar on 6 April 1973 a walk from 
the settlement area to the far end of North Island and back was made. Habitat 
inland was exclusively old cultivated palm grove with shrubs and grasses 
beneath. The following records supplement the information in Stoddart & 
Poore (1970: 19-21). 

Larus fuscus, Lesser Black-backed Gull * 

A single individual was seen as soon as the ship anchored off the reef and 
observed until the time of departure. The fact that it did not follow the vessel 
into the area was confirmed by Mr. Sedgwick, manager and postmaster of 
Farquhar, who told me that the bird had been about for over a week. This is 
the first record of the species on Farquhar, the second island on which it has 
observed in the Malagasy Region, Aldabra being the first (Dawson 1966: 8). 

Introduced species 

The Barred Ground-dove Geopelia striata was extremely numerous 
throughout North Island, parties of five to ten birds being flushed frequently. 
Equally numerous was the Madagascar Fody Foudia madagascariensis, many 
nests of which were in use. 

Other species 

Approximately 30 Turnstones Arenaria interpres were noted during the 
course of the day. 

Acknowledgements 

Firstly I thank all my friends and colleagues who were on Aldabra with 
me for their enthusuasm in pointing out 'odd' birds. I also thank Antonio 
Constance for his assistance in the field; his remarkable eye for wildlife and 
accurate descriptions were of great value. For hospitality I am grateful to 
Mrs. R. M. Veevers-Carter on Astove, and Mr. Sedgwick on Farquhar. Mr. 
B. H. Cogan kindly identified the insects found in gizzards. 

The general guidance of Mr. J. F. Peake, Dr. D. W. Snow and Dr. D. R. 
Stoddart has been of great benefit. I am also grateful to Mr. C. W. Benson, 
Dr. W. R. P. Bourne, Mr. R. K. Brooke, Mr. P. R. Colston and Mr. D. 
Goodwin for advice and assistance in the course of the preparation of this 
paper. Lastly I must express my appreciation to the Royal Society of London 
and those persons on the Society's staff concerned with Aldabra for the 
opportunity to visit the atoll and complete my researches on my return to the 
United Kingdom. 

Summary 

Records of migrant and vagrant birds were made on Aldabra during the 
period 9 April 1972 to 2 April 1973. Observations on Astove and Farquhar 
were made during a day stop at each, en route for the Seychelles from Al- 
dabra. Nine species are recorded as new for Aldabra, and one each for Farqu- 
har and Astove. Of the species of land birds recorded on Aldabra, all arrived 

18 



as odd individuals or in very small flocks with the exception of the falcons 
which appear to move over Aldabra in a steady migration, mostly in Novem- 
ber/December. Large flocks of Crab Plovers Dromas ardeola, observed moving 
north from Aldabra, appear to represent a migration to breeding grounds on 
the coast of Somalia. There appear to have been some recent introductions 
on Astove. 

References : 

Archer, G. & Godman, E. M. 1937. The birds of British Somali land and the Gulf of Aden 2. 

Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd. 
Benson, C. W. 1967. The birds of Aldabra and their status. Atoll Res. Bull. 118: 63-1 11. 

— 1970. Land (including shore) birds of Astove Atoll. Atoll Res. Bull. 136: 11 5-120. 

— 1972. Some land bird migrants in the western Indian Ocean. Atoll Res. Bull. 162: 10-11. 
Benson, C. W. & Penny, M. J. 1971. The land birds of Aldabra. Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. 

Lond. B. 260: 417-527. 
Dawson, P. 1966. A survey of the sea birds of the Seychelles Islands. Ool. Rec. 40: 1-11. 
Forbes-Watson, A. D. 1972. Preliminary list of the birds of the Malagasy Region. Nairobi: 

Nat. Mus. (cyclostyled). 
Goodwin, D. 1970. Pigeons and doves of the world. London: Brit. Mus. (Nat. Hist.) 
Moreau, R. E. 1972. The Palaearctic- African bird migration systems. London & New York: 

Academic Press. 
Penny, M. J. 1971. Migrant waders at Aldabra, September 1967-March 1968. Phil. Trans. 

Roy. Soc. Lond. B. 260: 549-559. 
Stoddart, D. R. 1968. The conservation of Aldabra. Geogr. fourn. 134: 471-485. 

— 1 97 1. Scientific studies at Aldabra and neighbouring islands. Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. Lond. 

B. 260: 5-29. 
Stoddart, D. R. & Poore, M. E. D. 1970. Geography and ecology of Farquhar Atoll. Atoll 

Res. Bull. 136: 7-26. 
White, C. M. N. 1965. A revised check list of African non-passerines birds. Lusaka: Government 

Printer. 



Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur in South West Africa 

by J. M. Winterbottom 

Received yth January, 1974 
Some years ago, Mr. A. J. Horak, then living on the Okavango River, 
caught a strange dove, which he placed in his aviary. Some years later, when 
he had moved to Oranjemund, at the mouth of the Orange River, he caught 
another. They proved to be female and male respectively and Mr. Horak 
succeeded in breeding from them, after the death of the original female, from 
the offspring. He has now about eight of these birds, which he identified as 
the palearctic Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur. 

I saw these birds on 28 September 1973, and there is no doubt about the 
correctness of the identification. The problem is, how did they get to South 
West Africa? Vaurie (1965, The birds of the palearctic fauna. N on-pas serif or mes) 
gives the winter quarters as "Africa south to Senegal, Gambia, the Sudan 
and Abyssinia". The only alternative to their being migrants which have 
overshot their mark is that they were escapes from captivity. While this last 
is just conceivable for the Oranjemund example, I find it quite incredible that 
anybody would be keeping Turtle Doves on the Okavango without Mr. 
Horak's knowledge; and we know that other palearctic migrants do over- 
shoot their normal wintering range — witness Merlins Falco columbarius in 
Natal and European Swallows Hirundo rustica on Marion Island. 

[The above note was shown to D. Goodwin, who suggests that some Streptopelia turtur 
might go further south than previous observations have suggested. For a record from 
Aldabra, see p. 14 above. — Ed.]. 

19 



The significance of records of the Common Sandpiper 
breeding in East Africa 

by C. If". Benson & M. P. Stuart Irwin 

Received 18th November, 1973 
As a family the Scolopacidae are virtually confined in their breeding range to 
the Palaearctic and Nearctic regions and are usually long-distance migrants. 
There are however some major exceptions to this. Members of the Scolo- 
pacinae, especially the genus Gallinago, for the most part frequenting swampy 
grassland, have managed successfully to colonise the Old and New World 
tropics. Meyer de Schauensee (1966) lists five species of the genus as being 
endemic to the Neotropical region, where a geographically representative 
population of the almost cosmopolitan Common Snipe G. gallinago also 
occurs. In Africa the Ethiopian Snipe G. nigripennis, often regarded as 
conspecific with gallinago as by Voous (i960), is also widespread on that 
continent ; as is the Madagascar G. macrodactyla in the east of that island. In 
south-east Asia and Indonesia the Pintail Snipe G. stenura breeds as far 
eastwards as the island of Borneo, and the East Indian Woodcock Scolopax 
saturata from Sumatra to New Guinea. Two members of the relict tribe 
Prosoboniini (classification of Zusi & Jehl 1970: 760-780), one of which is 
now extinct, are confined to the Society Islands and the islands of the 
Tuamotu group in the tropical Pacific Ocean. 

Any other records of scolopacids breeding outside of the Holarctic region 
as a whole are therefore of particular zoogeographical interest. Indeed the 
only such evidence are records of the Common Sandpiper Tringa hypoleucos in 
East Africa. Benson et at. (1970: 14), however, saw no reason for accepting 
any African breeding record of this species. Subsequently Cunningham van 
Someren (1973) claims that such breeding records are authentic. From the 
text of van Someren & van Someren (191 1) it would appear that the first one 
is from the shore of Lake Victoria, in Uganda, and that eggs were being 
incubated in either August or September. The accompanying photograph of 
an incubating bird can surely only be of a Common Sandpiper. It has been 
critically inspected by Drs. D. W. Snow and P. J. K. Burton as well as by 
Benson himself. There is also a record quoted by Moreau (1966: 124) of 
young chicks just fledged seen by Meinertzhagen on the Kajiado River, in 
Kenya, in June; and Cunningham van Someren quotes further data from 
van Someren (1936: 60-61). 

In view of the evidence quoted in the preceding paragraph it is admittedly 
going too far to reject these records. Cunningham van Someren indicates that 
Benson et at. are following Chapin (1939: 97) and Moreau {loc. cit.) in re- 
jecting the evidence. Neither Chapin nor Moreau mentions the data provided 
by van Someren (1936: loc. cit.), partly at least a repetition of earlier data. In 
fact they did not reject the Lake Victoria and Kajiado records entirely out of 
hand. Nevertheless Chapin was sceptical, and Moreau concluded that at most 
breeding in East Africa is very rare. 

Moreau's conclusion is surely correct, although the Lake Victoria record 
seems irrefutable. We do not know of any further evidence of breeding from 
anywhere in the Ethiopian region as a whole. The Republic of South Africa 
or Rhodesia would seem as likely an area for breeding as any, and in general 
is ornithologically the best known part of the Ethiopian region. We therefore 
wish particularly to stress that, whatever might have been the situation under 
a different climatic regime in the past or might be in the future, in the present 



epoch the Common Sandpiper cannot be regarded as in any sense a regular 
member of the Ethiopian breeding avifauna. It would appear to us that the 
case of the Common Sandpiper is in part analogous to that of the White 
Stork Ciconia ciconia and House Martin Delichon urbica, recorded as breeding 
occasionally in South Africa, as discussed by Moreau (1966: 123), only in 
this instance it is the sole member of the Tringinae to breed anywhere within 
the tropics. 

Doubtless Cunningham van Someren is correct in stating that Common 
Sandpipers are present throughout the year in East Africa. We can corrobo- 
rate from our own experience in Rhodesia and Zambia, merely as one further 
example, that this is also the case further south. But a similar situation exists 
for some other scolopacine waders, e.g. the Greenshank Tringa nebularia, and 
is not evidence of local breeding. Thus Dowsett (in Benson et al. 1970: 14) 
counted more than 500 Greenshanks in a stretch of 300 miles of the Luangwa 
River walked in July and August 1966 and 1967. Actually Dowsett (pers. 
comm.) finds that the Greenshank is the commonest of the scolopacines which 
overwinter in Zambia, the Common Sandpiper the least so, and so the least 
likely to breed ; this presumably applying in other parts of Africa too. 

Finally, we cannot but remark, that despite the amount of ornithological 
investigation in East Africa in recent decades, no further evidence in support 
of these earlier observations has come to light. 

We are grateful to R. K. Brooke and R. J. Dowsett for their comments 
on a draft of this note. 

References : 

Benson, C. W., Brooke, R. K., Dowsett, R. J. & Irwin, M. P. Stuart. 1970. Notes on the 

birds of Zambia: Part V. Arnoldia {Rhodesia) 4(40): 59 pp. 
Chapin, J. P. 1939. The birds of the Belgian Congo. Part II. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 

75: 632 pp. 
Cunningham van Someren, G. R. 1973. Tringa hypoleucos Linnaeus breeding in East Africa. 

Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 93: 39-40. 
Meyer de Schauensee, R. 1966. The species of birds of South America. Livingston: Wvnewood, 

Pa. 
Moreau, R. E. 1966. The bird faunas of Africa and its islands. London: Academic Press. 
van Someren, V. G. L. 1936. The birds of Kenya and Uganda. Journ. E. Afr. <& Uganda 

Nat. Hist. Soc. 13 (1, 2): 29-72. 
van Someren, R. A. L. & van Someren, V. G. L. 191 1. Studies ofbirdlife in Uganda. London : 

John Bale & Danielson. 
Voous, K. H. i960. The Atlas of European birds. London: Nelson. 
Zusi, R. L. & Jehl, J. R. 1970. The systematic relationship of Aechmorhynchus , Prosobonia 

and Phegornis (Charadriiformes ; Charadrii). Auk 87: 760-780. 



The predators of the Jackass Penguin Spheniscus demersus 

by J. Cooper 

Received 19 th September, 19J3 
INTRODUCTION 

Temperate zone penguins appear to have different predators and may ex- 
perience a lower level of predation than sub- Antarctic and Antarctic species 
(Stonehouse 1967). Important predators in high latitudes are the Leopard 
Seal Hydrurga lepontonyx, Great Skua Catharacta maccormicki, and Giant Petrel 
Macronectes giganteus (Stonehouse i960, 1967; Swales 1965; Young 1963, 
1970). Virtually nothing is known of the predators or the level of predation 
of temperate species. 

Casual unquantified observations were made of predation on the temperate 



Jackass Penguin Spheniscus demersus, and on its eggs and chicks during the 
period February 1971 to December 1972 on DassenIsland(33°2 5'S, i8°o6'E) 
off the west coast of South Africa. Predation of the Jackass Penguin is 
considered in three sections ; predation of eggs, chicks and j uveniles and adults . 

PREDATION OF EGGS 

The only observed predator of eggs was the Dominican Gull Larus 
dominicanus. The gull was never observed to take eggs from incubating 
penguins as does the Great Skua (Young 1970). However the possibility 
exists that gulls may work in pairs to entice penguins from their nests 
(Headman, Dassen Island, pers. comm.). Gulls were only seen to take eggs 
from deserted surface nests and were therefore acting more as scavengers 
than as predators. Human disturbance to breeding penguins permits gulls to 
obtain more eggs than they would under undisturbed conditions. Deserted 
eggs in burrows were left untouched, since they were invisible to gulls 
patrolling overhead. The increase in the penguin's surface nesting habit due 
to guano removal and paving of the breeding areas on some islands has 
increased the gulls' chances of obtaining eggs. Berry et al. (in press) found 
that gull numbers increased on Halifax Island, South West Africa, during 
guano collection and that many eggs were taken by gulls as the penguins 
deserted because of human disturbance. Guano removal has apparently 
caused an increase in surface nesting on Halifax Island. 

While skuas and Giant Petrels occur in the seas around Dassen they are 
not seen ashore, and therefore do not take eggs (or chicks) as they do in high 
latitudes. 

Man has been an important predator of Jackass Penguins. From 1917 to 
193 1 an average of 460,000 eggs was officially collected annually on Dassen 
Island (Cott 1953). Collecting was halted in 1968 and poaching is now at a 
low level, but still causes some disturbance. 

PREDATION OF CHICKS 

Penguin chicks are predated by Dominican Gulls, Sacred Ibis Threskiornis 
aethiopicus and possibly by feral domestic cats Felis lybica. Gulls took small 
unattended chicks (up to one week old) from surface nests. Human disturb- 
ance causing temporary desertion increases chick loss since small chicks are 
normally brooded continuously. Larger chicks were only attacked if very 
weak. The Sacred Ibis was only seen to attack weak unattended chicks, 
mostly comatose. This bird mainly scavenges corpses, and is only a casual 
predator. 

Feral cats occur on Dassen Island feeding mainly on the feral rabbit 
Oryctolagus cuniculus. It is possible that they sometimes take penguin chicks 
though this was never proved by stomach content examination. Small chicks 
often disappeared from deserted burrows inaccessible to gulls and could have 
been taken by cats. One penguin chick (ca. 1,500 g) was found showing signs 
of having been partially eaten by a cat. 

Chicks have been collected for food and for fish bait in the past, but man 
is no longer a predator. The extinction of the penguin colony on Robben 
Island in Table Bay (South Africa) was probably partially due to the collection 
of chicks in large numbers. 

PREDATION OF JUVENILES AND ADULTS 

The Cape Fur Seal Arctocephalus pusillus was the only predator seen to take 
fledged penguins. A single animal, thought to be a female by its size, was 
often seen feeding on penguins in House Bay, Dassen Island. A total of 57 
penguin corpses was washed up, but many more must have been carried 



away by prevailing winds and currents. On one day a total of 25 was washed 
up. The seal's technique was invariably to decapitate the bird with one bite 
and then to disembowel the carcass by shaking, removing the belly skin and 
eating the viscera and stomach contents. The breast muscle and the rest of 
the corpse were left untouched. The Cape Fur Seal is not thought to be a 
common predator of the Jackass Penguin; Rand (1959) mentions only one 
bull seal which was feeding on penguins off Dyer Island near Cape Agulhas 
in 1937. A similar case occurred at Halifax Island in 1957. Bourne & Dixon 
(1973) quote an observation made at sea near Dassen Island where "a seal 
was seen to catch a penguin, shake it about and toss it in the air". This was 
most probably a Cape Fur Seal. The habit seems to be confined to individuals 
which only appear interested in the stomach contents of penguins. The seal 
was not always present and it is considered unlikely that penguins formed its 
sole diet as no drastic decline in penguin numbers was noticed at the landing 
stages in House Bay. 

On other islands seals and penguins apparently live together in harmony. 
I have observed seals close inshore at Dyer Island and Possession Island, 
South West Africa, but they were not seen to catch penguins. Predation of 
penguins by Fur Seals is not considered regular by Stonehouse (1967). 
However, the New Zealand Fur Seal A. forsteri takes Rockhopper Penguins 
Eudyptes crestatus in quantity off Campbell Island (Bailey & Sorensen 1962), 
and apparently on Macquarie Island as well (Warham 1963). Boswall (1972) 
quotes observations by Ian Strange of the South American Sea Lion Otaria 
byronia killing the Magellanic Penguin Spheniscus magellanicus in the Falkland 
Islands. Sea lions do not occur in South African waters. The Leopard Seal is 
very rare in South African waters (P. Best pers. comm.) and thus cannot be 
an important predator of the resident Jackass Penguin. 

An old record of a Bryde's Whale Balaenoptera edeni (—brydei), with 15 
Jackass Penguins in its gut (Olsen 191 3), is considered to be unusual (P. Best 
pers. comm.), as this animal has a narrow gullet and feeds on small fish and 
euphausids. Bird remains were absent from 119 Bryde's Whale stomachs 
examined from South African waters (Best 1967). 

Killer Whales Orcinus orca have been recorded taking penguins in high 
latitudes and do occur in South African waters. Penguins have not been 
foundin ten stomachs examined by P. Best although one contained an albatrosse. 
The Killer Whale is probably only a minor predator of Jackass Penguins. 

Giant Petrels have been seen scavenging on Jackass Penguins killed by 
Cape Fur Seals but have not been seen to attack live birds; at Gough Island 
this petrel kills freshly moulted Rockhopper Penguins as they enter the 
water (Swales 1965). 

Likely, but unproven predators of penguins are sharks. Penguins were 
often seen on Dassen Island with missing feet or truncated flippers. These 
injuries could have been caused by seals or sharks. Hagen (1952) mentions 
the Blue Shark Glyphis glaucus as a possible predator of Rockhopper Penguins 
at Gough Island. 

Historically man has been an important predator of juvenile and adult 
penguins. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries many birds were col- 
lected for food on Robben Island. They have been used as fish bait, and are 
occasionally drowned in fishing nets. At present man is no more than a casual 
predator of Jackass Penguins. 

SUMMARY 

The Jackass Penguin is preyed upon by several animals, but none of these 
appears to be an important predator. Predation of eggs by Dominican Gulls 



is related to the level of human disturbance and the increase in surface nesting. 
The Dominican Gull and Sacred Ibis take small unattended or weak chicks. 
Feral domestic cats may also take chicks, but proof is lacking. Juvenile and 
adult birds are preyed on by individual Cape Fur Seals but this is a rare 
occurrence. The Cape Fur Seal was only observed to eat viscera and stomach 
contents. Predation by sharks is an unknown factor, and Killer Whales, 
Leopard Seals, Skuas and Giant Petrels are not thought to be important 
predators in South African waters. Man has been an important predator of 
penguins in the past, taking eggs, chicks and fledged birds, causing the 
extinction of at least one island breeding colony. Predation by man is no 
longer important. 

AC KNOWLEDGEMENTS 

During my period of research on Dassen Island I was employed by the 
South African National Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds 
under a grant from the South African Nature Foundation. I am grateful for 
facilities on the island supplied by the Department of Government Guano 
Islands. The paper was prepared while I was a member of the Percy Fitz- 
Patrick Institute of African Ornithology. 

References : 

Bailey, A. M. & Sorensen, J. H. 1962. Subantarctic Campbell Island. Denver Mus. Nat. 

Hist. 10: 1-305. 
Berry, H. H., Seely, M. K. & Fryer, R. E. in press. The status of the Jackass Penguin 

Spheniscus demersus on Halifax Island off South West Africa. Madocqua. 
Best, P. B. 1967. Distribution and feeding habits of baleen whales off the Cape Province. 

Div. Sea Fisheries Invest. Report 57: 1-44. 
Boswall, J. 1972. The South American Sea Lion as a predator on penguins. Bull. Brit. Orn. 

CI. 92: 129-132. 
Bourne, W. R. P. & Dixon, T. J. 1973. Observations of seabirds, 1967-1969. Sea Swallow 

22: 29-60. 
Cott, H. B. 1953. The exploitation of wild birds for their eggs. Ibis 95 : 409-449. 
Hagen, Y. 1952. Birds of Tristan da Cunha. Norweg. Sci. Exped. to Tristan da Cunha 20. 
Olsen, O. 191 3. On the external characteristics and biology of Bryde's Whale (Balaenop- 

tera brydei), a new rorqual from the coast of South Africa. Proc. Zoo I. Soc. Lond. 34: 

i-75- 
Rand, R. W. 1959. The Cape Fur Seal, Arctocephalus pusillus, distribution, abundance and 

feeding habits off the south western coast of the Cape Province. Div. Sea Fisheries 

Invest. Report 34: 1-75. 
Stonehouse, B. i960. The King Penguin, Aptenodytes patagonica, of South Georgia. 1. 

Breeding behaviour and development. Falkland Islands Depend. Sci. Report 23: 1-8 1. 

— 1967. The general biology and the thermal balance of penguins. Advances in Ecol. 
Research 4: 1 31-196. 

Swales, M. K. 1965. The seabirds of Gough Island. Ibis 107: 17-42. 

Warham, J. 1963. The Rockhopper Penguin, Eudyptes chrysocome, at Macquarie Island. Auk 

80: 229-256. 
Young, E. C. 1963. Feeding habits of the South Polar Skua, Catharacta maccormicki. Ibis 105 : 

301-318. 

— 1970. The techniques of a skua-penguin study. Antarctic Ecology 1 : 568-584. 



The Boran Cisticola in Ethiopia 

by J. S. Ash 

Received jth Jul) , 1973 
Following Benson's (1946) account of unidentified Cisticolas in southern 
Ethiopia, North & McChesney (1964) collected and recorded what were 
apparently similar birds in Kenya. The latter authors dubbed them "Boran 
Cisticolas". 

Although Boran Cisticolas are morphologically inseparable from the 

24 



Rattling Cisticola C. chiniana (Hall & Moreau 1970) their behaviour, song, 
and habitat preferences are dissimilar ; clearly, two species are involved. 

At the risk of possibly confusing the problem further, it seems worthwhile 
recording some observations on a Cisticola which seems to be fairly wide- 
spread in southern Ethiopia. I have used the same name Boran Cisticola for 
these birds, although I cannot be certain that they are the same as those 
described by the above authors. This seems likely, for they are inseparable in 
the field from chiniana on plumage characters, but differ in other respects. 
Their most noticeable feature is the loud song, quite unlike the rattling song 
of chiniana, and to my ear strongly reminiscent of the palearctic Chaffinch 
Fringilla coelebs. 

Boran Cisticolas have been found most commonly in the Kebre Mengist 
and Neghelli areas, in Borana, part of Sidamo (Benson recorded them at 
Neghelli). In April 1971 they were fairly common between these two places 
at 75 km by road (5°3i'N, ^°z^'K) east of Kebre Mengist, and here a bird 
was incubating four eggs on 1 7 April in a ball-shaped nest ca 1 5 cm above the 
ground in roadside weeds; they were again common at 40 km to the east 
(o5°i4 / N, 39°57'E) and at 54 km to the south (a$°oo'N, 39°29'E) of Neghelli. 
In April 1973 they were common at various points between these localities 
and at Neghelli itself. On 23 April 1971 by the Genale River (o5°32'N, 
39°42'E), north of Neghelli, a bird left a nest at 0700 which contained a warm, 
and probably new-laid egg; there was still one egg at dusk, but two at 0800 
the following morning. This nest was similar to the other, and was ca 25 cm 
above the ground in low herbaceous growth. Benson recorded a nest with 
four eggs on 19 June. Since April 1971, further birds with the same charac- 
ters of plumage and song have been observed, and these records suggest 
that the species is widespread in southern Ethiopia: Gibe gorge (o8°o8'N, 
37°29'E), Kaffa Province: fairly common on 30 May and 19/20 June 1971; 
Dire Dawa, Harar Province: one singing at 10 km to south (o9°34'N, 
4i°5 2'E) on 5 September 1971 ; Harar, Harar Province: single birds at 26 km 
to east (o9°i4 / N, 42°i8'E) and 46 km to east (o^^'N, 42°28'E); Metahara, 
Shoa Province: single birds at 62 km and 66 km to west (o8°4i'N, 39°3o'E); 
Langano (7°34'N, 38°5i'E), Shoa Province: one on 3 October 1971, and 6+ 
singing on 13 February 1972 and 6/7 May 1972, and subsequently over a 
fairly wide area in 1972 and 1973, singing in March, May and June; Arba 
Minch (6°o2'N, 37°36'E), one on 14/15 April 1972; Yavello, at 15 km to the 
north-east (5°oo'N, 38°i2 / E), one on 2 June 1972; Ghinir (7°8'N, 4o°43'E), 
common on 9 April 1973. 

Whereas there are only a few records of the Boran Cisticola in the Rift 
Valley, most of my records of chiniana are confined to that region at many 
localities from Bahadu (io°o5'N, 4o°37'E) in the north to Lake Chamo 
(5°48'N, 37°3i'E) in the south. Outside the Rift Valley chiniana has only been 
found at Yavello and Neghelli. Nests with eggs have been found in April, 
July and September. There are also records in the south at Bulcha (6°27'N, 
38°n'E), near Lake Margherita (=Abbaya), but these birds have not been 
heard singing, so it is uncertain if they are chiniana or the Boran, although I 
have specimens. 

Boran Cisticolas tend to be found in thicker and lusher cover than chiniana, 
and they have only been found within sight or sound of each other in three 
areas. At Arba Minch in April 1972, one bird was singing in a thick cover of 
bushes on top of the escarpment, whilst on the slopes, 50-100 m below, 
chiniana was common. At one Langano site, Boran Cisticolas occur in the 
thick cover at the base of the escarpment on the lake-shore, separated by 

2 5 



only about a kilometre from the nearest chiniana in the more open acacia bush, 
but at another site they occur together. At Yavello, a singing Boran was in 
an area where chiniana was common. The Boran has been observed at an 
altitude range of 879-1573 m, and chiniana at 600-2000 m. 

To summarise my observations on the range of the two species: C. chiniana 
extends throughout most of the Rift Valley, only occurring beyond this 
area locally in Borana. Urban & Brown (1971) state that it occurs north to 
Eritrea, where it is rare. The Boran overlaps the range of chiniana broadly 
in the Rift Valley, except north of 8°3o'N, with extensions to the north-east, 
east and west. Further observations, especially in the south-west, may alter 
this picture. However, on extensive journeys further east in Haud, Ogaden, 
southern Sidamo and Bale, there has been no sign of either species. 

Morphological differences between the two species are described by Erard 
in the immediately following paper. 

Acknowledgements : I am grateful to C. Erard, K. D. Smith and Dr. C. K. 
Wallace, for commenting on this paper. Part of these observations were 
made during the course of research supported by the Office of Naval Re- 
search Task Order No. N00014-67-A-0 3 99-0009 and Bureau of Medicine and 
Surgery Work Unit MR 041.09.01 - 0014D6HJ. The work was undertaken 
under the auspices of Dr. George E. Watson of the Smithsonian Institution 
and Drs. J. R. Schmidt and C. K. Wallace of U.S. Naval Medical Research 
Unit No. 3, Research Detachment, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 

References : 

Benson, C. W. 1946. Notes on the birds of southern Abyssinia. Ibis 88: 180-205. 

Hall, B. P. & Moreau, R. E. 1970. An atlas of speciation in Ajrican passerine birds. London: 

Brit. Mus. Nat. Hist. 
North. M. E. W. & McChesney, D. S. 1964. More voices of African birds. Cornell University: 

Laboratory of Ornithology. 
Urban, E. K. & Brown, L. H. 1971. A checklist of the birds of Ethiopia. Addis Ababa: Haile 

Sellassie I University. 



The problem of the Boran Cisticok 

by C. Erard 

Received 20th August, 1973 
INTRODUCTION 

The existence in Ethiopia of two sibling species of cisticolas was first brought 
to light by Benson (1946: 199-203). This author collected in Sidamo Cisticola 
chiniana (Smith) and another species morphologically similar but different in 
voice and habitat. Later, North & McChesney (1964) collected and recorded 
them also, in Kenya, at Marsabit (2°2o'N, 37°5o'E) and Nanyuki (o°oi'N, 
37°o5'E), and gave the vernacular name "Boran Cisticola" to the second 
species. 

In 1968, during one of the expeditions to Ethiopia organised by the 
Laboratoire de Zoologie (Mammiferes et Oiseaux) du Museum National 
d'Histoire Naturelle de Paris, J. Prevost and the author in their turn found 
two cisticolas in Sidamo which, although morphologically similar, differed 
in voice, behaviour and biotope. Still not knowing well the cisticolas of 
Ethiopia and not being conversant at the time with the problem posed by 
Benson's observations, they thought that there must be obvious differences 
which would be apparent when skins were compared. Also, detailed notes 

26 



on the voice of each specimen collected were not made systematically. This 
was an error. The material collected in 1968 remained unidentified. 

In 1 97 1, during another expedition, Prevost and the author, accompanied 
by N. Follet, took up the problem again. For each specimen collected a 
record was made as to its type of voice, while at the same time a series of 
specimens of the two species was collected which brought to light morpho- 
logical differences. In the discussion which follows, this sibling of the Rattling 
Cisticola C. chiniana will be referred to as the Boran Cisticola, which can be 
regarded as of established usage. 

VOICE 

This is the best criterion for distinguishing the two species, and it is 
doubtless this which plays the most important part in their isolation from 
one another. Lynes (1930: 247) has described well the voice of chiniana. The 
alarm cry can be rendered as "ptit" or "tchit", sharp and repeated, sometimes 
"tititi" as in a tit Parus sp. The song consists of two or three notes, detached 
and a little drawn out (most frequently two notes, somewhat grating, 
reminiscent of a Whitethroat Sylvia communis in tone), followed by a short 
trill. In the field, it was recorded as "piu-piu-trrtrrtrr" (the most frequent), 
"tu-tu-tititi", "tu-tu-titititi", "prr-prr-vouivouivouivoui". The same song as 
in Ethiopia was heard in December 1971 in Kenya and Tanzania. 

The alarm cry of the Boran Cisticola is a nasal "tsee-tsee", sometimes 
repeated in a series of as many as ten such notes. It is usually the male which 
makes this call, facing the intruder, on a conspicuous perch, a special posture 
being adopted. He stands erect, making himself as tall as possible, the wings 
being beaten spasmodically and vigorously, and brought to the vertical 
at each beat, while at the same time balance is kept by violent vertical jerks 
of the tail. This has the effect of dispersing a family group. A playback on 
the magnetophone of these calls causes the bird to emit more in a louder 
tone; if this is continued, it becomes more and more excited, sings and attacks 
the magnetophone. This would suggest that the calls do not only serve to 
warn the partner and their offspring but also have a combative value in 
territory maintenance. In fact, when a male penetrates the territory of another, 
he is evicted with cries similar to his own. We have also heard, rarely, from 
excited birds a dry "tec-tec", sometimes followed by a rapid "tsuisuisui". 

The song of the Boran Cisticola recalls, to a European ear (see also Ash 
1974), certain stanzas of the Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs, especially at the end of 
winter when they are not yet complete. This song is a rapid, very loud 
"rolling" which one could even qualify as explosive (see also Benson loc. 
cit.). The phonetic transcriptions of the song in nature are remarkably 
constant: "til-lilulululu" or "tchit-tilulululu" or "tip-tilululu", the indi- 
vidual variation being relatively slight and depending especially on the 
length of the stanza. 

Figure 1 shows the sonagrams of the songs of the two species. It appears 
that the birds recorded by North in Kenya are indeed Boran, not Rattling 
Cisticolas. A comparison, kindly carried out and commented on by Dr. C. 
Chappuis, shows that: — 

(1) In true chiniana the song is composed of a regular initial series of vibrant 
notes, long and of a complex tonal structure. This is followed by one or two 
series of short but identical notes of a rapid rhythm. 

(2) In the Boran Cisticola according to North and in Ethiopia, the song is 
composed of an irregular initial series of notes modulated in frequency, short 
and of a simple tonal structure. This is followed by a series of notes of varying 
frequency and higher intensity. 

27 



&l , 



I ! 



2- 



Hh MM *t|. WMt * II "I 



B 






I . I 



h % If fc 



4- 



Ili4i 



D 



05 



i r 

10 1-5 

Seconds 



20 



2-5 



Figure i. Wide-band sonagrams showing the following songs: — A, B and C, different 
forms of the song of the Rattling Cisticola; D. Boran Cisticola (by North). 



KHz 
8-1 



4- 



KHz 



2- 



j 



$ & m if 



< 



I MM 






1 I 1 

! i i ***** 



— 



KHz 

8n 



KHz 
8n 



6- 



I 



1^ 

05 



Mm 



10 1-5 

Seconds 



20 



2-5 



Figure i {continued). The same showing: — E, song of Boran Cisticola (by North); F and 
G, song, H, alarm cry, of Boran Cisticola (by author and Follet, at Kebre Mengist). 



Dr. Chappuis adds that, comparing North's recordings and ours, in general 
the songs are identical : the same structure of the initial notes, much the same 
number of notes in the second part of the phrase, the same form of the notes. 
Furthermore, the initial notes of the song of Boran Cisticolas in Ethiopia are 
absolutely identical with those in Kenya. Thus one may conclude finally that 
these birds constitute a single species, quite distinct from the Rattling 
Cisticola. 

In spite of the fact that our material was not very adequate, we may re- 
count our experience in replaying the song of the one species to the other 
near Neghelli. When we played to chiniana the alarm cry followed by the song 
of the Boran Cisticola, it replied with cries and some song, but the reactions 
did not attain the intensity, not to say violence, provoked when its own song 
was played to the Boran. On the other hand, when the cries and song of 
chiniana were played to the Boran, a positive response of cries and song were 
evoked. The difference in the intensity of the replies is perhaps explained by a 
difference in the biological cycles : the fact that chiniana was at the finish of the 
postnuptial moult and was singing relatively little, whereas the Boran, 
although it had certainly also finished breeding, had only just started to 
moult and was still singing quite well. This confirms the suspicion of Hall & 
Moreau (1970: 167) that chiniana has an earlier breeding season than the 
Boran. Our observations also showed clearly that the two species, when they 
occur alongside one another, are mutually exclusive territorially. It would 
seem, although our data are too fragmentary to confirm it, that chiniana and 
the Boran can have contiguous territories but not actually overlapping. 

HABITAT 

Benson (1946: 201), in Sidamo, has stressed that chiniana inhabits typically 
"the open 'thorn-acacia' country at 3000-4500 ft.", whereas the Boran lives 
in "the drier highlands at 5000 ft. and over ... in open country where there 
is low bush growth". In general we confirm this difference in habitats. We 
found chiniana only in dry thorny savannas, always in areas where there are 
relatively low and scattered shrubs, interspersed with low, thick bushes, 
thinly scattered. At Arero, however, we observed and collected it in culti- 
vated hollows, partly fallow, where there were only some poorly developed 
bushes on the edge of a streamlet. 

On the other hand, the Boran inhabits dense tree savannas of a dry type, 
though also fairly humid as for example at Kebre-Mengist in Sidamo. Thus 
it is common in glades and on the outskirts of light forest below 1800 m, in 
open evergreen shrubby growth, in degraded vegetation on the edges of 
roads, in man-made clearings reminiscent in appearance of the Mediterranean 
garrigue (as in the Gibe valley in Kaffa, where it is also found in quite open 
places). In general, it frequents fairly dense but broken shrubby formations. 

Around Neghelli and towards Arero and Yavello, and doubtless beyond, 
the two species come into contact, and in certain places live side by side in 
the same habitat. However, closer observation shows that chiniana prefers the 
poorer, more open areas, in which it is much more abundant than the Boran, 
which dominates on the other hand when the height and density of the woody 
vegetation increases. Thus for example near Neghelli and Yavello they both 
occupy thornbush, but the Boran prefers the more luxuriant spots (dense 
shrubby or bushy growth with a more herbaceous floor), whereas chiniana 
prefers the more open spots in which the acacias are reduced to dispersed 
clumps and grass exists only in strands around such clumps. The Boran sings 
especially at the tops of tall acacias (song post between 3 and 5 m, or even 

30 



higher), whereas chiniana sings low down in bushes or on the tops of grass- 
stems (song-post between o- 5 and 2- 5 m, rarely higher). It would also seem 
that then; is a difference in the feeding zones : the Boran living between 1 and 
5 m and foraging between 1 and 3 m, with chiniana keeping preferably to 
below 2 m and foraging essentially in grass and low branches of bushes 
between ground-level and 1 m. 

As to altitude, we do not think that there is any clear-cut difference between 
the two species. Chiniana was found between 920 and 1620 m, the Boran 
between 1200 and 1800 m (the altitudes were taken with the aid of an 
altimeter previously adjusted in the Geophysical Laboratory, Haile Sellassie 
I University, Addis Ababa). 

MORPHOLOGY 

The examination of specimens of the two species duly identified by voice 
has permitted the recognition of a certain number of differences in colour, 
form and measurements. Thus the series brought back in 1971 show the 
following differences in the Boran Cisticola from the Rattling Cisticola: — 

(a) The back is more uniform, less streaked. The basic colour of each 
feather is brown, clearly lighter and with a pronounced russet tone. The 
streaks of the mantle, although practically non-existant in worn plumage, are 
narrower and above all browner, less black. 

(b) The crown is browner, less of a warm chestnut, almost unstreaked, 
while in chiniana it is obscured by dark streaks. 

(c) The underparts are whiter, less buff. 

(d) The tenth (outermost) primary is shorter (see measurements below). 

(e) The wing-coverts (especially the greater and median) and the alula are 
bordered with whitish or very light buff and contrast with the reddish buff 
edges to the outer webs of the remiges. In chiniana the wing-coverts and the 
remiges are fringed with rufous or reddish fawn uniformly dark. 

(f) The rectrices are narrower. On the under surface, the extremity beyond 
the subterminal black spot is practically of the same colour as the basal part 
of the feather (see also Benson 1946 : 201), whereas in chiniana this apical zone 
is white or washed with fawn, and contrasts clearly with the colour of the 
base of the feather. The subterminal black spot in the Boran is in fact no more 
than blackish, somewhat diluted as remarked by Benson (Joe. cit.) y and is 
concentrated on the inner web, being absent or almost so on the outer. In 
chiniana this spot is more definitely black, and is equally well defined on both 
webs, so that it may fairly be termed a bar. This black marking is also less 
extensive in the Boran than in chiniana (less than 5 mm in extent, as against 
6-8 mm). In the Boran, too, it is barely discernible on the upper surface, 
whereas in chiniana it is still clear. Furthermore, in the Boran black is entirely 
absent on the central pair of rectrices, while in chiniana a rudimentary vestige 
is still visible. 

(g) The bill is shorter, more thickset at the base, resembling somewhat in 
profile, in miniature, that of Cisticola nataiensis (Smith). 

The above differences being evident in autumn specimens (Boran starting 
to moult, chiniana finishing), an attempt was made to find them in specimens 
in fresh dress. A comparison of our material with that in the British Museum 
(Natural History), wherein is the series collected by Benson (most of which 
are Boran, as their collector thought) has confirmed the validity of the above 

31 



findings. In fresh plumage the Boran Cisticola has however the wing specu- 
lum (edges of the greater and median coverts) a little more buff than in worn 
plumage, but nevertheless this speculum contrasts with the edges of the 
remiges. The underparts are decidedly whiter than in chiniana in the same 
stage of plumage, in which they are much washed with buff, with white only 
in the centre of the abdomen and of the throat. Furthermore, chiniana has on 
the sides of the chest a dark greyish wash which tends to make it appear 
darker on the underparts. The pale edges of the mantle feathers in the Boran 
in fresh dress have a greyish rather than fawn tone, and are narrower than in 
chiniana, which explains why, with wear the back in the Boran appears the 
more uniform of the two species. 

Until the present, these two cisticolas were placed together in a single 
species as Cisticola chiniana bodessa Mearns, cf. White (1962: 663). Thanks to 
the great kindness of Prof. S. Dillon Ripley and Dr. R. L. Zusi, we have 
examined the type of this form, described under the name C. subruficapilla 
bodessa by Mearns (191 3: 2-3). It shows all the characters of the Boran 
Cisticola, the scientific name of which must accordingly be Cisticola bodessa 
Mearns. The populations of chiniana of Ethiopia and northern Kenya must 
be called C chiniana fricki Mearns, of which we have also examined the type 
(cf. Mearns 191 3: 3-4), and which corresponds well with specimens which 
we have collected after having identified them from the song as Rattling 
Cisticolas. 

The birds of Kaffa (40*6*, J 9) differ from the other Boran Cisticolas, and seem 
sufficiently distinct to bear their own particular name: 



Cisticola bodessa kaffensis subsp. no v. 

Description: This form differs from the nominate by its clearly darker 
colour. The crown and the mantle are almost concolorous. The top of the 
head, of a less warm tone than in true bodessa, is scarcely more rufous than 
the mantle, which is a duller, darker, brown, lacking any rufous ; in addition 
the mantle is practically uniform even in fresh dress, at the most only with 
very ill-defined streaking. The primaries are bordered with a more pro- 
nounced, darker, reddish, while the margins of the lesser and median wing- 
coverts are browner, less greyish. The thighs are likewise a darker buff. The 
underparts appear darker, being slightly more buffy and, more especially, 
more washed with a darker brownish grey on the flanks and sides of the 
chest. Also, the extremity of each rectrix is lighter, more washed with buff, 
in contrast to the rest of the feather. The bill seems to be longer. 

Distribution: So far only known from the valley of Gibe in the province of 
Kaffa. 

Type: $ adult: between Walkite and Abalti, ca. 8°i2'N, 37°4o'E, 7 June 
1968. Collector's no. 1438. In the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle de 
Paris. Wing 67, tail 63-5, bill from skull 14 mm; weight 20 g. 

The material collected from Marsabit (30*0* m the British Museum) is not 
separable from nominate bodessa. 

To return to our comparison between chiniana and bodessa, in measure- 
ments the two species are very similar. The following figures show such 
differences as do exist (each set of figures shows respectively the mean, the 
range in brackets and the number of specimens examined): — 

32 



Wing 



SS 66-5(60-71) 

43 
99 53>55 

2 

$$ 66-0(64-68) 

4 



Tail Bill from 


skull 


Weight 




millimetres 




grammes 




C. b. bodessa 








57-1 (52-63) 13-5 (12 


5-I4-5) 


19-5 (16- 


-«) 


4i 39 




27 




48, 50 11, 13 




12, 13 




2 2 




2 




C £. kaffensis 








58-6 (52-5-63-5)14-0 (13 


5-i5) 


20 -o (19- 


-") 


4 4 




4 




45 13 




14 




1 1 




1 




C. chiniana fricki 








57-3 (52-62) 14-6 (13- 


-16) 


20-6 (18- 


-23) 


37 37 




21 




50-8 (50-53) 13-0 (12- 


-14) 


14-8(12- 


-20) 


5 6 




5 





S? 52 

I 

o*o* 67-0(60-70-5) 

39 

99 55-2(51-5-58) 

6 

In order to take better account of structural differences between the two 
species, we have shown on histograms the frequency of length of wing and 
bill of each (Fig. 2). The similarity of size is reflected by length of wing. 
Chiniana is only slightly larger than bodessa, but on the other hand there is a 
more definite difference in length of bill. 

In the course of collecting, we were struck by the difference in the relative 
length of the tenth (outermost) primary. To express the validity of this, we 
have measured the difference in length between the extremity of the tenth 
primary and that of the tip of the wing (tip of the longest - usually the seventh 
- primary). Figure 3 shows that at an equal wing-length bodessa has in general 
a shorter tenth primary, although there is a considerable zone of overlap. 
This is reduced if one compares bill-length to the percentage of difference 
between the tip of the wing (longest, seventh primary) and the tip of the 
tenth primary in relation to the wing-length. This percentage is another way 
of expressing the relative length of the tenth primary to the full wing-length. 
These two structural differences in the wing and the bill, combined with the 
colour differences already described, permit the identification of single, 
isolated specimens. 

MOULT 

Lynes (1930: 270-271), not knowing that there were the two species, 
qualified as "irregular" the mode of moult, stating that in Arussi, Sidamo 
and the Rift Valley, from Lake Zwai to Stephanie (that is, in the zone where 
both species exist) there were two modes, seasonal and perennial, although 
elsewhere the seasonal mode was "dominant if not exclusive" (see also 
Friedmann 1937: 200). According to the specimens which we collected and 
those in the British Museum, it appears that bodessa has a complete moult 
between the end of October and the beginning of January, and chiniana from 
September to mid-December. This is general, and affects all of the two popu- 
lations. A bodessa in moult of the primaries was obtained on 22 June at 
Marsabit by North, and a chiniana starting to moult on the River Gato (near 
Gardula) on 3 1 August. Indications of "spring" moult have been noticed in 
specimens of bodessa as follows : one in moult of the primaries at Neghelli in 

33 



No. specimens 



15- 



10 



S 



60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 Wing (mm) 



Figure z. Above: Wing-lengths of Cisticola bodes sa (vertical lines) and of C. chinianafricki 
(horizontal lines) {$$ only). Below: Bill-lengths of C. bodessa (continuous line) and of C. c. 
fricki (broken line) (o*6* only). 



No. specimens 



15- 



10- 



5- 



I 1 



12 



2.5 1 13 ' 13.5 1 14 '14.5 1 15 ' 15-5 1 16 ' 



Bill (mm) 



34 



2/ 

26 H 

25 

24- 

23- 

22- 

21- 
20 

19- 

18- 

17- 



Wing tip— 10 primary (mm) 




60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 Wing (mm) 



Figure 3. Above: Relation between wing-length and difference between tip of wing and 
tip of tenth (outermost) primary {$<$ only). Below: Relation between bill-length, and per- 
centage of difference between tip of wing and tip of outermost primary to wing- length 
(o*6* only). In both graphs C. bodessa is shown by circles, C. chinianajricki by triangles. Solid 
symbols: identification by song. Hollow symbols: identification from specimens only. 
Underlined symbols: C. b. kaffensis. 



Bill (mm) 



16- 

15- 

14 
13 
12-1 




n 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 r 

28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 



Wing tip — 10 primary / 
Wing 



35 



Sidamo on 15 May; two showing signs of moult of the rectrices, secondaries 
and body plumage in KafTa on 7 and 19 June; likewise in chiniana, two 
specimens showing moult of the median rectrices at Lake Margherita in the 
Rift Valley on 28 April and 2 May. This "spring" moult seems to affect only 
a very small number of individuals, contrary to the "autumn" moult, which 
appears to be the true moult of the populations as a whole. Further investi- 
gation in the field is necessary to establish clearly the cycle of moult of the 
two species ; all the more so because the cycles of reproduction and moult 
must certainly vary locally in accordance with the incidence of the rains. 

DISTRIBUTION 

Ash (1974) has outlined the distribution of the two species in Ethiopia 
according to his personal observations which it is not necessary to discuss 
here. We give below a summary of our own by provinces, adding to it 
information obtained from the material in the British Museum. We will not 
consider the data obtained by North in Kenya which also concerns the Boran 
Cisticola. 

Eritrea: A £ from Nefasit (1 5°i9'N, 39°o4'E), 8 June 195 1, despite its bad 
state of plumage, seems to be a bodessa. Smith (1955 : 75, under C. chiniana 
bodessa) states "Scarce and local ... on eastern escarpment between 4000- 
6000 ft". It would be desirable to examine a series of specimens of this 
apparently isolated Eritrean population. 

Harrar: A <$ bodessa was collected by Pease on 15 December 1900 at 
Hojojo, west of Mieso (ca. 9°io'N, 4o°4o'E). Ogilvie-Grant & Reid (1901: 
654), writing of this specimen, have already remarked that it differs from 
others in having the streaking of the back almost obsolete. 

Shoa: There are specimens of bodessa collected along the Awash River on 
19 December 1900 by Pease and at "Manniballa" on 14 July 1902 by Degen. 
This latter locality must be the same as the "Mallabella" (ca. 9°io'N, 39°4o'E) 
of Pease if reference is made to the itineraries of the two expeditions (Ogilvie- 
Grant & Reid 1 90 1 : 609 and Ogilvie-Grant 1904: 254). The Boran Cisticola 
was also well represented on 1 April and 10 October 1971 in the region of 
Welenchiti (8°4o'N, 3?°25'E) and on 1 April at Sodere (8°2o'N, ^o'E). 

Chiniana was heard singing (it was not at all rare) in many localities in the 
Rift Valley during May, June, July, September, October and December in 
1968-71, especially between Modjo (8°39'N, 39°o5'E) and Shashemene 
(7°i2'N, 38°37'E). It was also heard near Nazareth (formerly Adama, 
8°3i'N, 39°i2'E) and near the crater lake of Debre Zeit (8°48'N, 38°5 5'E). 
We have examined specimens collected in February from Jawaha (ca. io°N, 
4o°E), a locality investigated by Blundell and Lovat, see Ogilvie-Grant 
(1900: 118), in April from Dembi (visited by Antinori and probably in the 
Rift mid-way between Addis Ababa and Lake Zwai), in January from Lake 
Zwai (ca. 8°oo'N, 38°5o'E) and in September from Kambata (ca. 7°3o'N, 
38°2o'E), to the south-west of Lake Shalla (see Ogilvie-Grant 1913 : 555 and 

pi. 12). 

Arussi: We have examined specimens of chiniana collected by Zaphiro in 
January/February at Djila, Dalota and Bourka (localities to the east of Lake 
Zwai, between this lake and the high valley of the River Cathar; see Ogilvie- 
Grant 191 3 : 554). 

Sidamo: It is in this province that the two species seem most abundant. 
Chiniana was found around Lake Awasa (7°N, 38°25'E) in May/June 1968, 
then in large numbers in a radius of 15-20 km around Neghelli (5°2o'N, 
39°3 5'E) in May 1968 and October/November 1971, thence very commonly 

36 



in November/December 1971 to Arero (4°48'N, 38°5o'E), onwards almost 
throughout to Yavello (4°5 7'N, 38°o8'E), and for at least 50 km to the west 
and 70 km to the south thereof (and see also Benson 1946: 200). 

Bodessa was abundant in May 1968 and October/November 1971 at Kebre 
Mengist (formerly Adola, 5°54'N, 38°5 9'E) and 50 km east of Neghelli 
(ca. 5°io'N, 4o°o5'E) towards Filtu. In fact its density was highest between 
Wadera(5°4o'N, 3 9°2o'E) and 15 km north of Neghelli (ca. 5°2 3 'N, 39°3 5'E), 
in this region indeed to the exclusion of chiniana (see also Ash's records). In 
November/December 1971, the Boran Cisticola was equally well represented 
around Arero, and in the vicinity of Yavello from 10 km to the north thereof 
to 75 km to the south (that is, where Benson op. cit. found it himself). 

Gemu-Gofa: We have examined specimens of bodessa dated June and 
August from Konso, between Lakes Shamo and Stephanie, for June from 
Wurke (ca. 6°3o'N, 37°3o'E, see Ogilvie-Grant 1913: 554), for May from 
Bodessa (5°o5'N, 37°32'E, see Friedmann 1930: 7-8), and for January from 
Muji, to the north of Lake Rudolf (this locality is not shown on any map; 
specimen obtained by Haverstadt). Above the escarpment dominating the 
western shore of Lake Margherita, at several points, between Soddu (6°49'N, 
37°4i'E) and Arba Minch (6°o2'N, 37°36'E), we heard the song in May 1968. 
In this same region chiniana was common at the bottom of the escarpment, 
on the edge of the lake. The type offricki, belonging to this latter species, 
came from "White Abaya Lake" ( — Lake Shamo), and was collected on 20 
March 191 2. We have also examined a series of specimens of chiniana from 
Konso, in the valley of the River Gato, collected by Zaphiro in August 1910. 

Kaffa: In June 1968 and November 1971 we found bodessa well represented 
in the Gibe valley between Walkite (8°i5'N, 37VE) and Abalti (8°io'N, 
37°3 5'E), and above the escarpment or a further 6 km to the south-west of 
Abalti. It was apparently in this same area that Ash found the species in May 
and June 1971. In June 1968 singing was heard in clearings near Agaro 
(7°5o'N, 36°38'E), but not again in November 1971. In the meantime the 
habitat had been considerably modified by the construction of an all-season 
road, accompanied by cultivation and human activity in general. 

AC KNOWLEDGEMENTS 

I must express my gratitude to my travelling companions Dr. J. Prevost 
and N. Follet, without whom this study would have been impossible. I wish 
also to thank Dr. J. S. Ash, who helped me with his knowledge of Ethiopian 
birds; Dr. D. W. Snow and I. C. J. Galbraith, who gave me every facility 
while I was working in the British Museum (Natural History) at Tring; and 
Prof. S. Dillon Ripley and Dr. R. L. Zusi, who were kind enough to lend me 
the type specimens described by Mearns. Special mention must be made of 
C. W. Benson, who has commented on this paper and translated it into 
English; and of my friend Dr. C. Chappuis, who made the sonagrams and 
from whom I have profited by his knowledge of birds in general and of 
cisticolas in particular. Mrs. J. Hall-Craggs also most kindly assisted in the 
final preparation of the sonagrams before they were sent to the printer; 
likewise J. W. Rodford in that of Figures 2 and 3. 

SUMMARY 

Based on differences in voice and to some extent in ecology, it was sus- 
pected more than 30 years ago that there were two species of cisticola in 
southern Ethiopia. In the meantime, both have been known as Cisticola 
chiniana bodessa. The present investigation has confirmed these differences, 

37 



and has also shown that there are small differences in colour of plumage and 
in structure. The two species may be known as the Rattling Cisticola C. 
chiniana, widespread in southern and eastern Africa, and extending into the 
Shoa province of Ethiopia; and the Boran Cisticola C. bodessa, known from 
Nanyuki and Marsabit, northern Kenya, and widespread in Ethiopia, 
occurring even in Eritrea. A new subspecies of the latter, C. b. kaffensis, is 
described from the Gibe valley, Kaffa. The main factor keeping the two 
species apart is voice. In some places (as in Sidamo) they occur alongside 
one another, but are territorially mutually exclusive. 

References (excluding those in the paper by J. S. Ash above) : 

Ash, J. S. 1974. The Boran Cisticola in Ethiopia. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 94: 24-26. 

Friedmann, H. 193 0-1937. Birds collected by the Childs Frick expedition to Ethiopia and 

Kenya Colony. Smiths. Inst. U.S. Nat. Mus. Bull. 153. Part 1. Non-passeres: 516 pp. 

Part 2. Passeres: 506 pp. 
Lynes, H. 1930. Review of the genus Cisticola. Ibis 12(6), suppl.: 673 pp. 
Mearns, E. A. 191 3. Description of six new African birds. Smith. Misc. CoWns 61(11): 1-5. 
Ogilvie- Grant, W. R. 1900. On the birds collected during an expedition through Somaliland 

and southern Abyssinia to the Blue Nile. Ibis 7(6): 11 5-178, 304-337. 

— 1904. On the birds collected during a recent expedition through Somaliland and 
Abyssinia to lake Tsana. Ibis 8(4): 250-280. 

— 1913- On a collection of birds from southern Abyssinia presented to the British Museum 
by Mr. W. N. McMillan. Part I. Passeres. Ibis 10(1): 550-641. 

Ogilvie-Grant, W. R. & Reid, R. J. 1901. On the birds collected during an expedition 
through Somaliland and southern Abyssinia to lake Zwai. Ibis 8(1): 607-699. 

Smith, K. D. 1955. Recent records from Eritrea. Ibis 97: 65-80. 

White, C. M. N. 1962. A check-list of the Ethiopian Muscicapidae (Sylviinae). Part II. 
Occ. Pap. Nat. Mus. S. Rhod. 26 B: 653-694. 



Cape Grass Owl in Ethiopia 

by D. A. Turner 

Received )oth October, 197) 
The Cape Grass Owl Tyto capensis ranges through the greater part of southern 
Africa northwards to western and central Kenya, where it is a rather rare 
and local species frequenting damp open grassy areas. Mackworth-Praed & 
Grant (1970) also indicate the existence of an isolated population on Manen- 
guba Mt., western Cameroun. Urban & Brown (1971) do not list this species 
for Ethiopia, and Leslie Brown informs me that even the Barn Owl Tyto alba, 
widely distributed over most of Africa south of the Sahara, is unaccountably 
rare in Ethiopia. 

On 9 May 1973 I observed an owl asleep on a telegraph pole in the middle 
of a vast open grassy area near Tefki, some 50 km south-west of Addis 
Ababa, Ethiopia. The bird was observed for some 1 5 minutes at a distance 
of approximately 75 yards, with the aid of x 8 binoculars. It was clearly a 
Tyto owl, the facial discs being very distinct, as were its orangey-buff under 
parts lightly spotted with dark brown or black. The upper parts and wings 
were uniform dark brown. The area at this time was extremely dry, although 
it was very apparent that it became a vast swampy area during the rainy 
season. When I left, the owl was still asleep, but had disappeared when I 
returned to the area later in the afternoon. 

A recent examination of skins in the National Museum, Nairobi, of all 
medium sized owls leaves me with no doubt that the bird I saw was a Cape 

38 



Grass Owl. This would appear to be the first record of this species in Ethiopia 
and a considerable northward extension of its previously known range. 

References : 

Mackworth-Praed, C. W. & Grant, C. H. B. 1970. African handbook of birds, Series I. Vol. 1. 

London: Longmans. 
Urban, E. K. & Brown, L. H. 1971. A checklist oj the birds of Ethiopia. Addis Ababa: Haile 

Sellassie I Univ. Press. 



Locustella naevia in Ethiopia 
by J. S. Ash & George E. Watson 

Received pth October, 1973 
Whilst one of us (J.S.A.) was routinely trapping birds and mammals at Koka 
(8°27'N, 39°o6'E) at 1445 m in Shoa Province, Ethiopia, in connection with 
research on viral infections, a Grasshopper Warbler Locustella naevia was 
netted at 11 30 on 24th February 1973. It weighed 10 • 2 g, wing length 62 mm, 
and was judged on the basis of colour to belong to the eastern race straminea. 
Subspecific identification was confirmed by John Farrand, Jr., at the Smith- 
sonian Institution, where it is deposited (USNM 552733). 

Previously only one other Ethiopian record of L. n. straminea has been 
reported, namely from Abroberifaghe along the River Hawash in the Danakil 
in February 1947 (Guichard 1948). Until the more recent records from Sene- 
gal (Moreau 1972) this has remained the only known occurrence south of the 
Sahara. However, we have been unable to trace this previous Ethiopian 
specimen. The record is included without date or authority in Meinertzhagen 
(1954), Mackworth-Praed & Grant (i960), White (i960) and in the recent 
Ethiopian checklist (Urban & Brown 1971). Moreau (1961), however, cites 
Meinertzhagen (Joe. cit.) as authority for the record but he later (1972) gives 
Thesiger & Meynell (1935). The species, however, is not mentioned by 
Thesiger & Meynell. There is no voucher specimen in either the British 
Museum or Meinertzhagen collections (D. W. Snow, in litt., 17 May 1973)*. 
C. W. Benson (in lift., 21 July 1973), who checked independently the British 
Museum collections, also failed to find the specimen. He searched the regis- 
ter and found that three of the four species covered by Guichard's (pp. cit.) 
note were duly recorded, but not the Locustella. One might assume that the 
specimen in question never reached the museum if it were not for the state- 
ment at the end of Guichard's note, "All the above-mentioned specimens are 
now in the British Museum". Alternatively, the specimen may have been lost 
prior to registration. This supposition is supported by the fact that only 
eight out of the nine Sarothrura ayresi sent to the museum were registered. 
Guichard was a careful and reliable observer, and notwithstanding the fact 
that his specimen of L. naevia cannot be traced now we are inclined to accept 
it. The species is not included in the catalogue of the collection made during 
the Italian occupation (Italian Game Department, unpublished, photostat 
copy of disintegrating original in J.S.A.'s possession). 

Moreau (1972), in discussing the wintering range of races of L. naevia, 
follows others in identifying the earlier problematical Ethiopian bird as L. n. 
straminea, mentioning that both this and another eastern race, L. n. mongolica, 

*A. D. Forbes-Watson (pers. comm.) asked Thesiger in Kenya on 22 June 1973 about the 
problematic record. Thesiger had no recollection of having collected the species and stated 
that if the record was not cited in the 1935 paper, nor was there a specimen in the British 
Museum, it never in fact existed. 

39 



winter regularly in India (Vaurie 1959). Moreau's review of records in the 
western Sahara and Senegal does not include mention of the race involved, 
although one at least was the European race L. n. naevia (Roux 1959), to 
which they are presumably all referable. Field (1973) has reported recent 
observations of Grasshopper Warblers from further south in Sierra Leone, 
West Africa. 

The present bird was in dry. Acacia jBalaniteshush ca. 1/2 mile from the lake 
shore. Other Palaearctic migrants, many of-which must have over-wintered, 
caught in the same habitat at the same time, included: 11 Hoopoes Upupa 
epops, three Scops Owls Otus s. scops, two Wrynecks Jynx torquilla, five Pied 
Wheatears Oenanthe pleschanka, two Stonechats Saxicola torquata armenica, 24 
Redstarts Phoenicurus p. phoenicurus and samamisicus, three Bluethroats 
Luscinia svecica magna, three White-throated Robins Irania gutturalis, 13 
Nightingales Luscinia megarhynchos, 12 Lesser Whitethroats Sylvia curruca, 
three Whitethroats S. communis, seven Blackcaps S. atricapilla, four Barred 
Warblers S. nisoria, four Olivaceous Warblers Hippolais pallida elaeica, 24 
Reed Warblers Acrocephalus scirpaceus, one Willow Warbler Phylloscopus 
trochilus, 29 ChiffchafTs P. collybita, eight Masked Shrikes Lanius nubicus and 
four Red-tailed Shrikes Lanius collurio isabellinus. 

During 1970-73, 9639 birds have been netted on 70 days at the Koka site 
(6 in February, 29 in March, 19 in April and 16 in December), and at least 
2624 (27%) of these were migrants, but no other Grasshopper Warblers 
were seen. Similarly, much netting has been done in other sites in southern 
Ethiopia, including two in the Danakil, all of which have provided many 
migrants, but not L. naevia. Unless the species is confined largely to small 
areas of specialised habitat, which have not been worked yet, we suspect it 
cannot be more than a rare and casual winter visitor to East Africa south of 
the Sahara. 

The opinions and assertions in this scientific report are those of the authors 
and do not necessarily reflect the official views of the Navy Department or of 
the naval service at large. The research was supported in part by the Bureau 
of Medicine and Surgery and the Office of Naval Research under Contract 
No. Nooo 1 4-67-A-03 99-0009 and Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Work 
Unit MR041.09.01-0014DGHJ. We are grateful to C. W. Benson, J. Farrand, 
Jr., the late K. D. Smith and D. W. Snow for their help. 

References : 

Field, G. D. 1973. Subalpine and Grasshopper Warblers in Sierra Leone. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 

93 : 101-103. 
Guichard K. M. 1948. Notes on Sarotbura {sic) ayresi and three birds new to Abyssinia. 

Bull.' Brit. Orn. CI. 68: 102-104. 
Mackworth-Praed, C. W. & Grant, C. H. B. i960. African handbook of birds. Series I, Vol. 2. 

London: Longmans. 
Mcincrtzhagen, R. 1954. Birds of Arabia. Edinburgh & London: Oliver & Boyd. 
Morcau, R. E. 1961. Problems of Mediterranean-Saharan migration. Ibis 103a: 373-427, 

580-623. 
— 1972. The Palaearctic- African bird migration systems. London & New York: Academic 

Press. 
Roux, F. 1959. Captures de migrateurs palcarctiques dans la basse vallee du Senegal. Bull. 

M//s. Nat. Hist. Nat. Paris ze(^i): 334-340. 
Thesiger, W. & Meynell, M. 1935. On a collection of birds from Danakil, Abyssinia. Ibis 

77: 774-807. 
Urban, E. K. & Brown, L. II. 1971. A checklist of the birds oj Ethiopia. Addis Ababa. Haile 

Scl lassie I Univ. Press. 
Yauric, C. 1959. The birds of the Palearctic Fauna: Order Passeriformes. London: Witherby. 
White, C, \I. N. i960. A check list of the Ethiopian Muscicapidae (Sylviinae). Part I. Occ. 

Pap, Nat. Mus. S. Rhod. 3(24!}): 399-430. 

40 



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Published by the BRITISH ORNITHOLOGISTS' CLUB and printed by 
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/ 1 



Bulletin of the 



British Ornithologists' Club 



c 







Edited by 
C. W. BENSON 



Volume 94 No. 2 



June 1974 



Committee 

J. H. Elgood {Chairman) 

P. Hogg {Vice-Chair man) 

Sir Hugh Elliott, Bt., o.b.e. {Editor) 

R. E. F. Peal {Hon. Secretary) 

M. St. J. Sugg {Hon. Treasurer) 

J. H. R. Boswall 

Dr. C. J. O. Harrison 

C. J. Mead 

Lt.-Col. J. R. Neighbour 



Bulletin of the /^ 

BRITISH ORNITHOLOGISTS' CLUB 

Vol. 94 No. 2 Published: 20 June, 1974 

The six hundred and eighty-seventh meeting of the Club was held at the 
Cafe Royal, 68 Regent Street, London, W.i, on Tuesday 19th March 1974 
at 7 p.m. 

Chairman: Sir Hugh Elliott, Bt., o.b.e. ; present 22 members and 1 1 guests. 

The speaker was Professor W. H. Thorpe, sc.d., f.r.s., who addressed 
the Club on "Individuality in Bird Voices" and illustrated his lecture with 
tape recordings and slides. 

Annual General Meeting 

The eighty-second Annual General Meeting of the British Ornithologists' 
Club was opened at 6 p.m. on Tuesday 14th May 1974 at the Cafe Royal, 68 
Regent Street, London, W.i. Eight members were present. 

The Hon. Secretary reported that the Chairman and Vice-Chairman were 
both engaged on work abroad and had sent apologies for their absence and 
the Editor had done likewise. Dr. J. F. Monk proposed, and the Hon. 
Secretary seconded, that Mr. P. Hogg should take the chair, and this was 
agreed. The Minutes of the eighty-first Annual General Meeting {Bull. Brit. 
Orn. CI. 93 : 49, 52) were approved and signed. 

The Hon. Secretary presented the Report of the Committee for 1973 
{Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 94: 1-2). After a short discussion, Dr. J. F. Monk 
proposed, and Mr. M. St. J. Sugg seconded, that the Report be adopted, and 
this was carried unanimously. The Hon. Treasurer reported that it had not 
been possible to complete preparation of the Accounts for 1973, and con- 
sideration of them had, therefore, to be deferred. 

On discussion of the Bulletin^ the meeting noted with satisfaction the high 
standard of papers. In order to avoid undue delay in publication, the Editor 
had had to decline some papers, particularly from non-members, of a stan- 
dard that would have justified acceptance. The Hon. Secretary stated that the 
printers had just informed the Club of an immediate increase in charges of 
1 5 %. This would mean a total rise in printing costs of 48 % in the last two- 
and-a-half years, and the Committee would have to consider how to meet the 
cost of the latest increase. 

There being no nominations additional to those of the Committee, the 
following were declared elected : — 

Chairman: Mr. J. H. Elgood {vice Sir Hugh Elliott, who retired on com- 
pletion of his term of office). 

Vice-Chairman: Mr. P. Hogg {vice Mr. J. H. Elgood). 

Editor: Sir Hugh Elliott, Bt., o.b.e. {vice Mr. C. W. Benson, o.b.e., who 
retired on completion of his term of office). 

Hon. Secretary: Mr. R. E. F. Peal (re-elected). 

Hon. Treasurer: Mr. M. St. J. Sugg {vice Mr. P. Tate, who retired on com- 
pletion of his term of office). 

Committee: Dr. C. J. O. Harrison and Lieut. -Colonel J. R. Neighbour 
{vice Dr. P. J. K. Burton, who retired by rotation, and Mr. P. Hogg). 

Tribute was paid from the chair to the great amount of work which Sir 
Hugh Elliott had done for the Club as Chairman. In particular, he had 

41 



devoted much time to cataloguing the stocks of back-numbers of the 
Bulletin and moving them to new storage at Tring, to ordering the mailing 
lists for the Bulletin and to arranging that separates should be produced for 
authors. A vote of appreciation to Sir Hugh was passed unanimously. Mr. 
Hogg thanked Mr. Tate for all he had done for the Club as Hon. Treasurer. 
He had been in that office for 1 2 years, a period not exceeded by any previous 
Hon. Treasurer and had devoted very much time and work to the Club. A 
vote of thanks to Mr. Tate was passed unanimously. The Hon. Secretary 
said that the meeting was well aware of its debt to Mr. Benson and it was 
hoped that he would be willing to resume office as Editor in 1975. 

It was proposed by Mr. D. T. Holyoak and seconded by the Hon. Secretary 
that the meeting be adjourned until 6 p.m. on Tuesday 17th September 1974 
at the Cafe Royal, 68 Regent Street, London, W.i for consideration of the 
Accounts for 1973, and this was carried unanimously. 

The meeting was adjourned at 6.30 p.m. 

A re-examination of material of the extinct marabou 
stork, Leptoptilos falconeri: with descriptions 
of some new species 

by C. J. O. Harrison 

Received 1st February, 1974 
Two marabou storks have been named as existing in pre-pleistocene periods. 
Argala (= Leptoptilos) arvenensis was listed by Milne-Edwards (1871) as a 
species of the French Miocene, but it is a nomen nudum. No material is 
known and it is possible that proposed specimens may have been referred to 
other species. 

In the same work Milne-Edwards (1867-71), in a footnote to page 450 
(incorrectly stated to be 449 in Brodkorb 1963), proposed the name Argala 
falconeri for another species. Brodkorb (1963) lists this also as a nomen nu- 
dum and regards Davies (1880) as the first valid description. He appears to 
have overlooked that on page 449 Milne-Edwards refers to four specimens 
from the Siwalik Hills of India, in the collection of the British Museum 
(Natural History) and that the name is then proposed with reference to these. 
They are listed as the distal and proximal ends of a tarsometatarsus, and two 
distal ends of tibiotarsi, measurements are given, and the greater size in 
comparison with Recent species is indicated as a valid character for specific 
separation. Leptoptilos falconeri (Milne-Edwards) 1868 would therefore 
appear to be the original description. 

Davies (1880) refers to five specimens, four presented to the British 
Museum (Natural History) by Col. Sir P. T. Cautley in 1 842, and one pre- 
sented by Charles Falconer in 1868, under this name. Lydekker (1884) refers 
a further three specimens to this species, two from Cautley and one from 
Falconer, and in describing the largest distal end of the tibiotarsus says it 
"may be considered as the type'*. In a later catalogue (1891) he lists all 
specimens without special reference to this one; but Brodkorb (1963) lists 
it as the designated lectotype. It is an unfortunate selection in that the 
specimen, apart from its larger size, shows no useful characters for separation 
from Recent species. 

This material referred to L. falconeri has been re-examined and I am of the 
opinion that it comprises the remains of three different bird species. Five 

42 



specimens, including the lectotype, appear referable to a very large marabou 
stork under the existing name. Although there is no indication that these 
were originally associated, the similarities of relative size and structure 
appear to justify referring them to a single species. 

The lectotype tibiotarsus shows no obvious characters, apart from a 
much larger size, which would separate it from the corresponding bone of the 
larger Asiatic species of the Holocene, L. dubius. The other, paratypical 
specimens show distinct differences in some points of structure which 
would justify specific separation, and in which the Pliocene bird is more 
different from the three Recent species than they are from each other. 

In the comparison of Pliocene and Holocene material this similarity in 
one bone and differences in others may have particular relevance. Although 
it has been claimed that some Recent species existed in the Pliocene, Brod- 
korb (1971) contends that the Pliocene birds were specifically distinct and 
that in general Recent species evolved during the Pleistocene. If the Pliocene 
records are based on single, or few, skeletal elements then a similar situation 
might occur to that apparently shown by the present species, where a 
particular bone might give no indication of difference, although differences 
existed in other parts of the skeleton, and where it might be assumed that a 
Recent species had been in existence at a much earlier period when a mor- 
phologically distinct, although possibly ancestral, form might be involved. 

The three remaining specimens consist of two distal ends of tibiotarsi, 
one very incomplete, and the extreme proximal end of a tarsometatarsus with 
most of the hypotarsus. One tibiotarsal fragment is virtually indistinguish- 
able in size and shape from those of the Recent JL. dubius. The other more 
extensively damaged fragment (fig. 4) is that of another stork, possibly 
related to Ciconia species but not definitely referable to known Recent or 
extinct species, and apparently a new form. It is from a large bird, only 
slightly smaller than L. dubius. The tarsometatarsal fragment appears to be 
that of a marabou (fig. 3), in some respects most similar to L. crumeniferus 
of Africa. Since, as in the larger species, it is this and not the tibiotarsus that 
shows characters which might justify specific separation I regard this as the 
holotype and refer the first of the two smaller tibiotarsi to it. 

Rich (1972) has assigned a distal end of a tarsometatarsus and a tibiotarsus 
from the Upper Miocene Beglia Formation of Tunisia to Leptoptilos cf. 
falconeri. The species was a small one, intermediate in size between L. 
crumeniferus and L. javanicus. The tarsometatarsus shows a trochlea for the 3rd 
digit shorter and broader in proportion than that of L. fa/coneri, having a 
distally short trochlea for the 2nd digit with a posteriorly and proximally 
displaced outer rim (fig. 1, lower right; 2, top). The tibiotarsus has a larger 
and disto-proximally longer posterior articular surface in the intercondylar 
region. There seems no reason to assign this bird to L. falconeri other than 
on its age. It appears to represent a discrete form and I have therefore 
treated it as a new species, L. richae. 

The three Recent species oiLeptoptilos show small interspecific osteological 
differences. The fossil forms discussed here show, even on the fragmentary 
material available, more distinct differences which are usually greater than 
the more recent interspecific variations. It therefore seems best to treat all 
these earlier forms as separate units distinguished by name. 

The relative similarity to each other of the three Recent species within the 
genus as a whole suggests that they are probably derived at a later period 
from a common ancestral stock, probably diverging during the period of 
active speciation in Africa and Asia during the Pleistocene. In addition we 

43 





Figure i. Anterior view of distal end of tarsometatarsus of - 
top left, jL. dubius; top right, L. javanicus; bottom left, jL. 
falconeri; bottom right, L. richae (the last, after Rich 1972, 
is on scale approx. half as large again as others). 



Figure 2. Lateral, internal view 
of distal end of tarsometatarsus 
of- top, jL. richae; middle, JL. 
falconeri; bottom, L. dubius (the 
first, after Rich 1972, is on scale 
approx. half as large again as 
others). 





Figure 3. L. shvalicensis, holc- 
type, proximal end of tarso- 
metatarsus. Internal and proxi- 
mal views. 



Figure 4. Cryptociconia indica, 
holotypc, distal end of tibic- 
tarsus. Anterior and internal 



44 



have two Pliocene and one Miocene species. There is some evidence that on 
the fossil forms the anterior condylar projections of the distal ends of 
tibiotarsi are slightly longer, relative to the width of the ends, than on 
Recent species; but apart from this the scanty material available does not 
appear to indicate any general evolutionary trends, unless one interprets the 
variation in the distal end of the tarsometatarsus (fig. i) as evidence of a 
long-term tendency for an increase in the distal projection of the trochlea 
for the 2nd digit. It is possible that these earlier forms are close to the 
evolutionary stem of the genus, but there is no definite evidence to indicate 
whether any should be regarded as ancestral to the Recent species or whether 
they should be regarded as minor divergences from a main evolutionary 
trend. There is certainly no good evidence to justify the creation of palaeo- 
species. 

SPECIES DESCRIPTIONS 

Leptoti/osfa/coneri (Milne-Edwards) 1868 

Emended diagnosis. Very large. On tarsometatarsus, trochlea for third digit 
large, extending distally well beyond other trochleae. Trochlea for second 
digit posteriorly displaced. Distal end of humerus with shaft less inflated 
anconally; groove between attachment of anterior articular ligament and 
internal condyle broad and deep; entepicondylar prominence and attachment 
of anterior articular ligament large. Distal end of femur with rotular groove 
deep and narrow and external edge of popliteal hollow well-defined. First 
phalanx of second digit of manus with metacarpal facet deep relative to 
width. 

Material. Lectotype, designated by Lydekker (1884), a distal end of a right 
tibiotarsus, B.M. (N.H.) no. 39735 (erroneously quoted by Brodkorb 1963 
as 39753). Paratypes, a distal end of a left tarsometatarsus, B.M. (N.H.) no. 
39736; a distal end of a left femur, B.M. (N.H.) no. 39737; and a proximal 
portion of the first phalanx of the second digit, B.M. (N.H.) no. 39738; all 
the above specimens including the lectotype being presented by Col. Sir 
P. T. Cautley in 1842. Also a distal end of a left humerus, B.M. (N.H.) no. 
48435, presented by Charles Falconer in 1868. 

Occurrence. Siwalik Series, Lower Pliocene; Siwalik Hills, Uttar Pradesh, 
India. 

Description. The lectotype is the distal end of a right tibiotarsus with a short 
portion of the shaft (fig. 1, lower left; 2, middle). It has undergone some 
pressure, the internal condyle showing a slight inward deflection and some 
damage to its outer edges. The shaft has been subject to crushing and 
deformation, and anterior projections proximal to the condyle are super- 
ficially eroded. The characters it shows do not differ distinctly from those of 
the Recent species, being perhaps most similar to those of L. javanicus. 

The condyles are stout and rounded anteriorly and posteriorly, and concave 
on the anterior outer surfaces. The internal ligamental prominence is large. 
There is a large, rounded and relatively deep intercondylar hollow distal to 
the supratendinal groove. 

The distal end of a left tarsometatarsus is broken off at the metatarsal facet. 
It is in good condition with the posterior tips of the outer trochleae and the 
internal posterior edge of the trochlea for the 2nd digit showing some wear 
and erosion. In general it is very similar to the tarsometatarsus of Recent 
species but the trochlea for the 3rd digit is larger, extending further distally 
and more prominent anteriorly. The anterior edge of the external rim of the 
trochlea for the 2nd digit is slightly more prominent laterally. 

45 



The distal end of the left femur is broken off just proximal to the popliteal 
area. The fibular groove and posterior intercondylar fossa are worn and the 
posterior external condyle edge slightly eroded. Other surfaces show small 
areas of damage. The rotular groove is deep and well-defined, narrower in 
comparison to those of Recent species, with a prominent and anteriorly 
tapering posterior external condyle. The popliteal cavity is deep and appears 
to have a deep and well-defined inner margin, the external portion of the 
shaft forming a definite ridge bordering it. This does not appear to be the 
result of distortion. 

The proximal part of the first phalanx of the second digit consists of a 
little over a third of the bone, with the flange mostly broken away. The 
proximal end is stout, with the metacarpal facet deep relative to its width. 

The distal end of a left humerus is again very similar to those of Recent 
species. It appears to lack any suggestion of proximal anconal inflation of the 
shaft however. The attachment surface for the anterior articular ligament 
forms a blunt and palmarly prominent ridge in these birds and in the present 
species is particularly prominent; while the entepicondyle appears to show 
greater lateral projection. 

Measurements. L.ectotype. Greatest length 52-8; width and depth of shaft 
(damaged) at level of proximal opening of supratendinal bridge 20-4 x 16-8; 
width at distal end 28-0; width of posterior condylar area 22-9; anterior/ 
posterior thickness of intercondylar groove 22-6; anterior length of external 
condyle 24-8; anterior/posterior width of internal condyle 34-0, of external 
condyle 34-8; width of tendinal bridge 8-i mm. Tarsometatarsus. Greatest 
length 42-6; proximal width and thickness 23. 1 x i*o; length from mid 
proximal end of shaft to trochlea for 2nd digit 39-5, to trochlea for 4th digit 
39-9; anterior length of trochlea for 3rd digit 25-4, posterior length iyo, 
dorsal width 13-4, greatest depth 17-5; same measurements for 2nd digit 
19-8, ii-i, io-i, 17-8; for 4th digit 21-6, 12-0, 10*4, 18-7; greatest distal 
width 36-0; dorsal distal foramen to external intertrochlear notch 8-2 mm. 
Femur. Greatest length 41-5 ; greatest width 46-8; anterior/posterior width of 
external condyle 41-2; distal width of rotular groove 16-1, proximal width 
13-8; anterior/posterior thickness of external side 35-3, of internal side 
29-0 mm. Phalanx. Greatest length 29-2; width of shaft at distal end 12*1; 
thickness of external side 5-8; width of anterior surface at metacarpal facet 
15-7; depth of facet 13-1; posterior/external to anterior/internal edges of 
facet 15-0 mm. Humerus. Greatest length of fragment 66-9; width and 
greatest thickness of proximal end of shaft 35-7 X 20-7; greatest distal width 
57-7; thickness at external condyle, 29-0, at internal condyle 19-8; attachment 
of anterior articular ligament to ridge of internal tricipital groove 27*5 mm. 

l^eptoptilos siwalicensis , sp. nov. 

Etymology. The specific name is derived from that of the range of hills in 
which the specimens occurred. 

Diagnosis. Moderately large. Proximal end of tarsometatarsus with internal 
side stout. Hypotarsus only slightly posteriorly elevated. Anterior ends of 
calcaneal ridges abrupt. Slanting muscle attachment surface at proximal 
posterior edge of external side large. 

Material. Holotype a proximal end of a left tarsometatarsus, B.M. (N.H.) no. 
39741, presented by Col. Sir P. T. Cautley in 1842 (fig. 3). Paratype a distal 
end of a right tibiotarsus, B.M. (N.H.) no. 39734, from the same source. 

Occurrence. Siwalik Series, Lower Pliocene; Siwalik Hills, Uttar Pradesh, 
India. 

46 



Description. The holotype is the extreme proximal end of a tarsometatarsus 
with the greater part of the hypotarsus present but most of the anterior 
surface missing except in the region of the cotyla (fig. 3). It has a general 
similarity to those of Recent species, but the internal side at the proximal end 
is stouter, anterio-posteriorly thicker, where it borders the hypotarsus. The 
base of the hypotarsus appears smaller, the whole structure projecting less 
posteriorly. Perhaps partly as a result of this the calcaneal ridges arise more 
abruptly and the area of posterior surface immediately around them is 
flatter. The attachment surfaces on the posterior and anterior edges of the 
proximal end of the external side are large. 

The tarsometatarsus is slightly smaller than that of the Recent L. dubius. 
The distal end of a tibiotarsus is very similar to that of the latter species, very 
slightly larger in the condylar region and with a stouter shaft. Compared 
with those of Recent species the anterior portions of the condyles, particu- 
larly that of the internal condyle, are longer and narrower relative to the 
width of the distal head. 

Measurements. Tarsometatarsus. Greatest length of fragment 34-5; greatest 
proximal width 28-6; width at cotyla lips 24-3 ; posterior projection of hypo- 
tarsus, to rim of internal calcaneal ridge 19-5; to external calcaneal ridge 
16-7; posterior external muscle scar 9-6 x 6-8 mm. Tibiotarsus. Greatest 
length of specimen 61-4; anterior length of internal condyle 18-9; of external 
condyle 19-0; anterior/posterior thickness at internal condyle 30-6, at inter- 
condylar groove, 19-4, at external condyle 31-6; greatest distal width 24-4; 
posterior length of external condyle 16-6; width and thickness of shaft 
c. 35 mm proximal to condyles 15-3 x 13*8 mm. 

Leptopti/os richae, sp. nov. 

'Etymology. The species is named after Mrs. Pat Vickers Rich who described 
the specimens. 

Diagnosis (based on Rich 1972). Tarsometatarsus with trochlea for the third 
digit relatively short and anteriorly broad. Trochlea for the second digit 
does not extend as far distally and has the outer rim much reduced and 
posteriorly and proximally displaced. Internal intertrochlear notch wide. 
Distal end of tibiotarsus has posterior articular surface of intercondylar 
region distoproximally long. Internal condyle projects anteriorly beyond 
external condyle. In external view posterior edge of shaft straight. 

Material. Holotype a distal end of a right tarsometatarsus, no. T-3604, 
Colorado Tunisian Collection, Service Geologique, Tunis. Paratype a distal 
end of a right tibiotarsus, no. T-1396, in the same collection. 

Occurrence. Lower Faunal Level (localities 17 and 20); Beglia formation. 
Upper Miocene; Bled ed Duoarah, Tunisia. 

Description (based on Rich 1972). The holotype is a distal end of a right 
tarsometatarsus, broken across diagonally a little below the metatarsal facet, 
and lacking the trochlea for the fourth digit and the lateral side proximal to it 
(fig. 1, lower right). The trochlea for the third digit is narrow posteriorly 
with a proximal taper; but anteriorly it is broad in relation to its length. The 
internal intertrochlear notch is wide, although this is partly modified 
anteriorly by the projecting flange of the trochlea for the third digit. The 
trochlea for the second digit is laterally and posteriorly displaced with a 
distinct external angle at the proximal end. Its concave inner side extends 
distally for about three-quarters the length of the other trochlea, but its 
external facet is reduced, and proximally and posteriorly displaced (figs. 
1, lower right; and 2, top). The distal end, viewed anteriorly, shows a strong 

47 



proximo-external slant, and in lateral view a prominent posteriorly-directed 
flange is apparent. 

The distal end of a tibiotarsus shows the typical rounded anterior and 
posterior condylar surfaces. The posterior, intertrochlear articulation surface 
is distoproximally longer than that of other species, and the posterior 
condylar flanges larger. In distal view the posterior and anterior edges of the 
internal condyle appear more anterior relative to the external side. In lateral 
view the posterior of the shaft, proximal to the condyles, is straight. Anteri- 
orly the tendinal canal is not internally deflected where it enters the proximal 
opening of the supratendinal bridge. The distal opening of the bridge is 
more medially placed than in Recent species and the internal ligamental 
prominence is level with the distal edge of the supratendinal bridge and not 
distal to it. 

Measurements (after Rich 1972). Holotype. Distal width of trochlea II 6-4; 
of trochlea III 9-8; internal depth of trochlea II 13-0, of trochlea III 16-0; 
lateral depth of trochlea II 13-5, of trochlea III 16-4; posterior length of 
trochlea II 11*9, of trochlea III 15-7; anterior length of trochlea II 17*6, of 
trochlea III 23-2, width across trochleae II and III 26-0; width and depth of 
shaft at proximal end of intertrochlear foramen 26-1 X 6-2 ; length of foramen 
5-2; maximum width of foramen 3-7 mm. Tibiotarsus. Greatest width across 
anterior condyles at distal end 18-6; minimum width of posterior condyles at 
distal end 15*3; greatest width of internal condyle 8-o; anterior length of 
internal condyle 16-3; anterior/posterior width of external condyle 25-1; 
width of shaft at proximal end of supratendinal bridge 13-6; width across 
condyles at their proximal end on posterior surface 8-3 mm. 

Cryptociconia, gen. nop. 

Etymology. The generic name is formed from the Greek prefix crypto 
(=hidden) and Ciconia (=a stork), in reference to the length of time during 
which this form has been overlooked. 

Type species. Cryptociconia indica, gen. et sp. nop. 

Diagnosis. Distal end of tibiotarsus has large internal condyle with anterior 
surface rounded but posterior tapering proximally to an abruptly terminating 
flange. Internal ligamental prominence projecting only slightly. Anterior 
portion of internal condyle narrow relative to its length. 

Cryptociconia indica, sp. nop. 

Etymology. The specific name refers to the country of origin. 

Diagnosis. The only known species of its genus. Characters those of genus. 

Material. An incomplete distal end of a tibiotarsus, B.M. (N.H.) no. 48444, 
presented by Charles Falconer in 1868 (fig. 4). 

Occurrence. Siwzlik Series, LowerPliocene;SiwalikHills,Uttar Pradesh, India. 

Description. The holotype is a distal end of a left tibiotarsus, the shaft 
broken off just proximal to the supratendinal bridge anteriorly; and to the 
condylar groove posteriorly. The external condyle is extensively broken 
anteriorly and posteriorly. Except for the narrowness of the anterior part of 
the internal condyle the specimen shows a general similarity to the corres- 
ponding parts of Recent Ciconia species in shape, but is considerably larger. 
Viewed laterally, the internal condyle is rounded anteriorly, with a very 
slight posterior slant, but posterior to this tapers towards the proximal 
posterior end of the intercondylar groove where it fotms a prominent flange 
terminating as an abrupt posterior projection. Anteriorly the smaller features 
are damaged or eroded, but there is evidence of a laterally broad, medially 



placed tubercle on the supratendinal bridge, the latter having a marked disto- 
anterior slant. In length relative to width the anterior part of the internal 
condyle is more similar to that of L. shvalicensis than those of the Recent 
smaller storks which it otherwise resembles. In general size it would seem to 
have been only slightly smaller than the large Recent Marabou, L. dubia. 

Measurements. Greatest length of specimen 28-7; greatest distal width 20-7; 
anterior/posterior thickness at internal condyle 30-3; posterior proximal 
projecting flange 5-2; anterior length of internal condyle 17-8; thickness 
(measured on outer side to condylar lip) 9-0; anterior/posterior thickness 
at intercondylar groove 18-7; width of supratendinal bridge 7-6 mm. 

SUMMARY 

Various Pliocene and Miocene fossil specimens have been referred to the 
extinct marabou stork, Leptoplilos falconer i. A re-examination reveals that 
several species are involved. The distal end of the tibiotarsus, available for 
all these species and often used as a holotype for extinct stork species, does 
not show useful characters for separation in the present species although 
such characters are present on other bones. It is suggested that the apparent 
uniformity of a skeletal element such as this in birds in which other parts 
differed might give rise to assumptions that Recent species existed at much 
earlier periods when in fact morphologically distinct forms were involved. 

Of eight Pliocene specimens originally referred to h. falconer i , five are here 
considered referable to a very large species under this name; two to L. 
shvalicensis (sp. nov.), a species of similar size to the Recent L. dubius; and one 
to Cryptociconia indica {gen. et sp. nov.), an unrelated stork of similar size to the 
last. The two Miocene specimens assigned by Rich to L. falconeri appear to 
constitute another species, L. richae (sp. nop.). 

References: 

Brodkorb, P. 1963. Catalogue of fossil birds, part 1. Bull. Florida Sta. Mus., Biol. Set. 7: 180- 
293. 

— 1971- Origin and evolution of birds. In Farner, D. S. & King, J. R. (eds.). Avian Biol. 

I: I 9 - 55- 
Davies, W. 1880. On some fossil bird remains from the Siwalik Hills in the British Museum. 

Geol. Mag. n.s. decade 2, 7: 18-27. 
Lydekker, R. 1884. Siwalik birds. Mem. Geol. Surv. India 10: 3. 

— 1 891. Catalogue of the fossil birds in the British Museum {Natural History). London: Brit. 
Mus. (Nat. Hist.). 

Milne-Edwards, A. 1 867-1 871. Kecherches anatomiques et pa/eontologiques pour servir a Vhistoire 

des oiseaux fossiles de la France. Paris : Masson. 
Rich, P. V. 1972. A fossil avifauna from the Upper Miocene Beglia Formation of Tunisia. 

Notes Serv. Geol. Tunisia 35: 29-66. 



The structure of feathers in Chlorophanes purpurascens 

by L. Auber 

Received 1 2th fanuary, 19J4 
INTRODUCTION 

The Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History) have been kind 
enough to place at my disposal three contour feathers, each from a different 
region of the plumage (chest, rump and crown), of the unique specimen of 
Chlorophanes purpurascens Sclater & Salvin (1873, Nomen. Av. Neotrop.: 157. 
Venezuela), redescribed and illustrated by Sclater (1886: 31 and pi. iv). This 
specimen has also been considered by Hellmayr (1935 : 250). It is referred to 
hereafter simply as "the holotype". 

49 



OBVERSE 
CORTEX 




INSERTION OF /&' (f 



REVERSE 
CORTEX 






Figures from transverse sections through barbs from Chlorophanes purpurascens: — 1-4, in a 
termino-basal succession from a chest feather (fig. 4 is a fragment of a section, showing 
horizontal arrangement of medullary cells) ; 5 , through extreme base in vane of a rump 
feather; 6-8, in a termino-basal succession through terminal vane half of a crown feather. 



50 



50, 







Figures from transverse sections through broadest part of barb, all except 13 of a chest 
feather: — 9, Chlorophanes spi^a <$; 10, Dacnis cay ana <$; 11, D. cay ana $; 12, Cyanerpes cyaneus 
o* (from Auber 1957: fig. 8b); 13, C. cyaneus $ (of feather of interscapular region). 



5i 



Bond (in Phelps & Phelps 1948: 202-203) an< ^ Wetmore (in Storer 1957: 
507) ascribe a hybrid origin to the holotype. They agree about one parent 
species, Chlorophanes spi^a (the genus Chlorophanes being monotypic, if C. 
purpurascens is not a distinct species), but disagree about the other one, Bond 
believing it to be Dacnis cayana, Wetmore Cyanerpes cyaneus. Storer (op. cit.) 
is inclined to agree with Wetmore, but does not entirely exclude the possi- 
bility of it representing a valid species. All these putative parent species are 
placed by Storer (1970: 391) in the subfamily Thraupinae of the family 
Emberizidae. 

On account of the great value of the material made available to me, for 
many years I postponed sectioning the three feathers until I was sure that I 
had a microtome knife of sufficient sharpness. Even so, the feathers from so 
old a skin tended to splinter. Nevertheless they yielded the details described 
below. Considering the probable hybrid origin of the holotype, detailed 
discussion is necessary of the feather characters of the possible parent species. 

INTACT SKIN AND FEATHERS 

From my examination of the holotype as a whole, the purplish blue regions 
of the plumage show a faint indication of an enamel effect, but no trace of the 
glassy glitter peculiar to C spz\a. Under microscopical examination in 
reflected light, of the intact blue barbs of the three feathers available, the 
reverse surfaces all show a black longitudinal zone. In transmitted light the 
same barbs show, outside a black opaque zone, one that transmits yellowish 
light (the medulla, see fig 1), and adjacent to this a transparent colourless 
zone belonging to the cortex. Evidently the blue colour of these feathers is 
due to the optical phenomenon that causes most instances of non-iridescent 
blue, green and purple in feathers. After mistakes by previous physicists, this 
optical effect has been recognised by Dyck (1971) as a special instance of 
interference of light, and is not a Tyndall effect. 

TRANSVERSE SECTIONS THROUGH BARBS (figS. 1-8) 

When stained according to the routine method of Auber (1955), the 
medullae did not attain the typical acid stain with picro-Indigocarmine, but a 
pale orange stain due to an apparently not very strong affinity with both 
Basic Fuchsin and picric acid. Owing to the restricted amount of material, 
it is not possible to explain this unusual staining reaction. 

Cortex: The obverse cortex (figs. 1-3) is rather massive and laterally com- 
pressed into an approximately prismatic shape with a fairly blunt summit. In 
routine-stained sections it appears practically homogeneous, except that 
the marginal portions (corresponding to surface cells) have less affinity with 
Basic Fuchsin than have the portions inside the prism. The reverse cortex 
has an intense melanisation which extends laterally up to the likewise 
melanised barbules. Towards the concealed vane portions (fig. 5) of the 
feathers of the chest and rump, the obverse cortex is further compressed into 
a narrow ridge, so that the outline is pear-shaped. Melanisation in the reverse 
and lateral cortex is reduced. 

Medulla: On the chest and rump, near the attenuated barb tip (fig. 1), the 
medulla has a vertically oval outline. Around the widest portion of the barb 
(figs. 2-3) the outline is almost circular, the cells having almost a radial 
arrangement. Occasionally, as in the fragment (fig. 4), the cells form a hori- 
zontal series. However, this arrangement has been found only near the vane 
base, although apparently still in the exposed feather portion. Throughout 
the medulla (figs. 2-4) the cell-boundaries are fairly straight. Each cell 



contains a cavity of a rather irregular shape, often with rounded ("ameboid") 
diverticles. Their rounded outlines indicate that these shapes ar e not artefacts. 
More jagged outlines would result, if the cell walls splintered during sec- 
tioning. In the chest and rump feathers the medulla is altogether amelanotic. 
In the blue terminal half of the crown feathers (figs. 6-8) nearly every cell of 
the laterally compressed medulla contains small black granules of rodlet- 
shape, irregularly distributed in varying amounts. 

DISCUSSION 

Hellmayr (1935 : 250) considered the holotype to be a male. This conclusion 
is apparently based on the chiefly blue shade of the plumage. In most coerebo- 
thraupines the males are mainly blue, the females mainly green (due to 
yellow filter pigment being superimposed on the structural blue). Bond's 
opinion (in Phelps & Phelps 1948) that the holotype is a hybrid between 
Chlorophanes spi^a and Dacnis cayana is based on: — (1) the overall similarity 
in shape with C. spi^a; (2) the similarity in main colour-pattern with D. 
cayana (^); and (3) that it is partly sympatric with these two species. Storer 
(1957) believes that Wetmore, whom he quotes, is more correct in assuming 
that the parent species are Chlorophanes sp/\a and Cyanerpes cyaneus (not D. 
cayana). The following reasons are given: — (1) there is a greater similarity 
in the colour-pattern between the holotype and Cyanerpes cyaneus (<^), and 
likewise in the dark purplish main colour (light blue in D. cayana $); (2) the 
bill of the holotype, quite similar to that of Chlorophanes spi^a, is more 
similar to that of Cyanerpes than to that of Dacnis. At all events, the sympatric 
argument made by Bond applies also to Cyanerpes cyaneus. 

Feather structure: Individual feather characters in the holotype (figs. 1-8) 
are dealt with under (a) - (f) below. Items (a) and (b), and to some extent (c), 
indicate affinity with Chlorophanes spi-^a, but none of them indicate any special 
affinity with either Dacnis or Cyanerpes. These items may now be detailed:— 

(a) Prismatic obverse cortex: Approaches the conditions in Chlorophanes 
spi^a <$ (cf. fig. 9), but is much lower and lacks the extreme sharpness of its 
summit (height and sharpness of summit, together with absence of barbules 
from exposed feather portions, causing glitter in C. sp/\a $). Neither does 
the prism in the holotype contain the complex light-scattering apparatus 
described by Auber & Appleyard (1955 : 255-256) which in the C. spi^a <$ 
imparts a green shade to the structural blue. This atypical cause of the green 
is an alternative to the usual cause, viz. superposition of yellow filter pigment 
on blue-producing structures : see below under females. In this context male 
skins in the Naturhistorisches Museum, Vienna, mislabelled 'Chlorophanes 
purpurascens\ without further data (cf. Auber & Appleyard 1955) are in 
reality C. spi\a with a strong bluish tinge to the green. According to a recent 
inquiry these specimens were collected near Quito, and so can be determined 
as C. s. caerulescens (cf. Sclater 1886: 30). The bluish tinge of these specimens, 
as compared with the intense green of eastern C. spi^a <$$, can be attributed 
to a less efficient light-scattering apparatus in the prism. In Dacnis cayana £ 
(fig. 10) and the much more highly specialised Cyanerpes cyaneus £ (fig. 12) the 
obverse cortex forms a very thin lamina. 

(b) Melanisation of reverse cortex (configuration [Ba] in Auber 1957: 462): 
Agrees with the condition in both sexes of Chlorophanes spi^a (fig. 9) except 
that: — (1) in the holotype the melanisation extends into well developed 
barbules (such being absent from the exposed green vane portions in C. 
spi^a ^, whereas corresponding portions in C. spi^a $ bear amelanotic 
barbules); (2) melanisation at the barb bases is rarefied (fig. 5), whereas in 

53 



C. spi^a fairly intense melanisation of the reverse cortex coexists with 
melanisation in the extreme obverse (Auber 1957: fig. 15 c!). In both sexes of 
Dacnis (figs. 10, 11) and in Cyanerpes ft (fig. 12) melanisation is contained in a 
cortical partition (configuration [Be] in Auber 1957: 462). 

(c) Irregular melanisation of medullary cells in crown feathers (figs. 6-8): The 
first impression given by this character is of an extreme instance of an other- 
wise sporadic occurrence in typically amelanotic medullary cells of various 
bird forms. The crown feather of the holotype is not melanised to such an 
extent that it appears entirely black in situ (as do corresponding feathers in 
Chlorophanes spi^a ft). However, it approaches the condition in the head 
region of this speciqs and sex, contrary to that in the chest and ramp feathers 
of the holotype and in any blue feather from Dacnis and Cyanerpes ftft, none 
of which show any black in situ. 

(d) Pear-shape of sections (fig. 4) through barb bases is a generalised feature, 
indicated in at least the vane base of most feather types (Auber 1957: 460- 

461). 

(e) Medulla of oval or circular outline (figs. 1-3, 5): Again a generalised 
character. It is absent from exposed barb portions in structurally coloured 
feathers from both sexes of Chlorophanes spi^a (fig. 9), of Dacnis (figs. 10, 11) 
and from Cyanerpes ft (fig. 12): in all these instances the medullary cells form 
horizontal tiers. Thus in the holotype the apparently occasional horizontal 
arrangement (fig. 4) of medullary cells is not significant in the present 
context. 

(f) Irregular {partly "ameboid") shape of medullary cell cavities: As far as could 
be seen, peculiar to the holotype. It contrasts with an entire absence of 
medullary cavities from exposed barb portions in structurally coloured 
feathers of Chlorophanes spi^a (fig. 9), as well as with the condition in Dacnis 
and Cyanerpes (figs. 10-13), in which these barb portions contain medullary 
cells with cavities of regular "polyhedral" shape (cf. Auber 1973). Absence of 
cavities from medullary cells in Chlorophanes spi^a appears to be unique (cf. 
Auber & Appleyard 1955: 253, 255). Polyhedral cavities, on the other hand, 
are frequent in Passeres, but they also occur in some non-passerine families. 

Females: In those of all three possible parent species the plumages are 
chiefly green, viz.: — (1) in a typical fashion, yellow filter pigment in the 
transparent obverse cortex is superposed on the blue-producing structure 
(cf. Kniesche 19 14); (2) often also, green barbs differ from corresponding 
blue barbs by a more massive obverse cortex (Frank 1939: 501-502), to 
produce a more efficient filter. Character (2) applies to the bright green in 
Dacnis (cf. fig. 10 with fig. 11), in which form the blue and green barbs of 
males and females, respectively, otherwise show the same level of speciali- 
sation. This character also applies to the dull green in Cyanerpes .$. In this 
form, however, the ft (fig. 1 2) is much more highly specialised than are both 
sexes of Dacnis. The Cyanerpes $ (fig. 13), on the other hand, shows structu- 
rally some generalised details (sections through barbs pear-shaped and 
melanisation confined to barbules, cf. configuration (C) in Auber 1957: 462). 
In females of the extremely highly specialised Chlorophanes spi^a only charac- 
ter (1) obtains: the obverse cortex forms a massive prism in both sexes. 

SUMMARY 

Recent authors interpret the unique specimen originally described as 
Chlorophanes purpurascens as a hybrid between two coerebo-thraupine species, 
either Chlorophanes spi^a and Dacnis cayana or C spi^a and Cyanerpes cyaneus. 
Examination of structurally coloured feathers from C purpurascens shows 

54 



that they agree in certain respects with those of C. spi^a but do not show the 
extreme degree of specialisation found in that species. Along their barbs they 
show considerable fluctuation, in details of structure and melanisation. On 
the other hand, no details could be found pointing towards the structures in 
the feathers of the other species suggested as a parent, either Dacnis cayana or 
Cjanerpes cyaneus. 

AC KNOWLEDGEMENTS 

My thanks are due to the Royal Scottish Museum for facilities for research; 
to the Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History) and Mr. I. C. J. 
Galbraith for the unique material; to Mr. Galbraith also, and Dr. A. S. 
Clarke, Mr. I. H. J. Lyster, Mr. J. M. Sanderson and Mr. A. R. Waterston 
for constructive criticism; to Dr. G. von Rokitansky and Prof. R. W. 
Storer for valuable information; to Mr. C. W. Benson for assistance in 
presentation of this paper; to the Royal Society for a research grant; and to 
the Editor, Journal of Zoology, for permission to reproduce the present fig. 
12. 

References : 

Auber, L. 1955. Cortex and medulla of bird-feathers. Nature 176: 1218-1219. 

— 1957. The structures producing "non-iridescent" blue colour in bird feathers. Proc. Zool. 

Soc. Fond. 129: 455-486. 

— 1973. Formation of "polyhedral" cell cavities in cloudy media of bird feathers. Proc. 

Roy. Soc. Edin. (B) 74(2): 27-41. 
Auber, L. & Appleyard, H. M. 1955. The structure of the feathers in Chlorophanes and 

Iridophanes (Coerebidae). Ibis 97: 252-258. 
Dyck, J. 1 97 1. Structure and colour production of the blue barbs of Agapornis roseicollis and 

Cotinga maynana. Z. Zellforsch. 115: 17-29. 
Frank, F. 1939. Die Farbung der Vogelfeder durch Pigment und Struktur./ow«. Ornith. 87: 

426-523. 
Hellmayr, C. E. 1935. Catalogue of birds of the Americas and the adjacent islands. Field 

Mus. Nat. Hist., Zool. 13(8) (publ. 347): 541 pp. 
Kniesche, G. 1914. Uber die Farben der Vogelfedern. I. Die Griinfarbung auf Grundlage 

der Blaustruktur. Zool. Jahrb. (Anat.) 38: 327-356. 
Phelps, W. H. & Phelps, W. H., Jr. 1948. Contribucion ornitologica de la coleccion 

Phelps, 5 : Notes sobre aves Venezolanas. Bol. Soc. Vene^ol. Cienc. Nat. 10(72): 189-210. 
Sclater, P. L. 1886. Catalogue of the birds in the British Museum 1 1. London: Brit. Mus. (Nat. 

Hist.). 
Storer, R. W. 1957. The hybrid origin of Chlorophanes purpurascens . Auk 74: 507. 

— 1970. Subfamily Thraupinae, pp. 246-408 in Check-list of birds of the world 13, R. A. 

Paynter, Jr., ed. Cambridge, Mass. : Mus. Comp. Zool. 

The type of the 
Madagascar Cuckoo Cuculus poliocephalus rochii Hartlaub 

by C. W. Benson 

Received 2jth February, 1974 
Benson el al. (1970: 17) considered that a female of this cuckoo in the 
University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge, collected at Chasmanna, 
Madagascar, on 2nd October 1862, could not be the type, even although it 
had been indicated as such by Prof. A. Newton. This was because Hartlaub's 
description (1862: 224) was ostensibly published on 11 November 1862, only 
40 days after the date of collection. However, Duncan (1937: 72) gives the 
true date of publication as April 1863. Thus there was a lapse, not of a mere 
40 days, but of some six months, so that even in those more leisurely times 
completion of the process from collection to publication of a description 
would have been possible. 

55 



What must be the specimen in question is referred to by E. Newton (1863: 
453). He states that it would soon have bred, while according to the label it 
had "eggs large". Roch & Newton (1863: 166) refer to a specimen which 
might be supposed to have been collected in September or October 1861 
{ibid., 1 862 : 265-266). No such specimen has been found in either Cambridge 
or Bremen, where there are many of Hartlaub's types (Benson eta/. 1970 : 17). 
Reference to the Ibis for 1863 shows that the second part of Roch & Newton's 
paper was published in April of that year. The note on Cuculus rochii (p. 166) 
contains a reference to Hartlaub (1862), presumably a last minute insertion, 
with the "One obtained" referring to the specimen available to Hartlaub. 

The matter has been discussed with R. Wagstaffe, who agrees that the 
Chasmanna specimen may be properly regarded as the holotype, contra also 
Benson (1971: 4), who does list several other Hartlaub Malagasy types in 
Cambridge. Incidentally, Benson et al. (1970: 17) suggest that the type of 
rochii was collected somewhere between Tamatave and Tananarive. Chas- 
manna has not been traced from any map or gazetter, either modern or from 
the last century. However, from the account of his travels during his second 
visit to Madagascar (E. Newton 1863: 333-335), Chasmanna cannot have 
been far upstream from the mouth of the Hivondrona (now Ivondro) River, 
just to the south of Tamatave. For practical purposes the type locality may be 
taken to be Tamatave. 

I gladly absolve my co-authors in Benson et al. (1970) from responsibility 
for any previous error, more particularly the overlooking of the paper by 
Duncan (1937). 

References : 

Benson, C. W. 1970-71. The Cambridge collection from the Malagasy Region. Bull. Brit. 

Orn. CI. 90: 168-172; 91: 1-7. 
Benson, C. W., Brooke, R. K., Dowsett, R. J. & Irwin, M. P. Stuart. 1970. Notes on the 

birds of Zambia. Arnoldia {Rhodesia) 4(40): 59 pp. 
Duncan, F. M. 1937. On the dates of publication cf the Society's "Proceedings", 1859— 

1926. Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond. 107A: 71-84. 
Hartlaub, G. 1862. On a new bird from the island of Madagascar. Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond. 31 : 

224. 
Newton, E. 1863. Notes of a second visit to Madagascar. Ibis 5 : 333-350, 452-461. 
Roch, S. & Newton, E. 1862-63. Notes on birds observed in Madagascar. Ibis 4: 265-275 ; 

5: 165-177. 

The Pintail Anas acuta in Rhodesia 
by Michael P. Stuart Irwin 

Received 1st March, 19 J 4 
The holarctic Pintail, Anas acuta Linnaeus, winters extensively in northern 
tropical Africa (Moreau 1972 : 220), although it has been collected once as far 
south as Zambia at Ndola at 13 S., in February (Benson et al. 1971: 55). 
Within the South African sub-region the only evidence of its occurrence is 
provided by Took (1959: 84) who observed a pair near Salisbury in Novem- 
ber 1958. 

On 3rd February 1974 Mr. Eugene Halsted, while on a shooting party, 
obtained two female Pintails from a flock of five on a farm dam at Portwe 
Estate, i9°4o'S., 28°42'E., near Turk Mine. Both carried extensive body fat 
and weighed 822-5 an d 852-7 grammes respectively. During the following 
week a flock of six were reported from the same locality, by Mr. Huntsman 
Williams who had seen the original group of five and had become familiar 
with the species. Garganey Anas querquedula Linnaeus were also reported as 

56 



having been shot at the same time as the Pintail, but no specimens were 
preserved. 

It is therefore possible that an influx of these palaearctic duck may have 
occurred. Exceptionally heavy rains have characterised the 1973/74 rainy 
season in Rhodesia and over most of south-central Africa. This factor, 
accompanied by the progressive series of droughts in the northern semi- 
arid savanna belt of Africa (Winstanley 1973 : 190-194), may well force many 
birds south of their present normal wintering area. That Pintail, at least 
during the cooler periods of the Pleistocene, must have occurred very much 
further south than they do to-day, is evidenced by the existence of isolated 
resident, subspecifically distinct, sub-antarctic populations found on Ker- 
guelen and the Crozet Islands (Delacour 1956: 132-135). 

My sincere thanks are due to Mr. Eugene Halsted for reporting the pre- 
sence of these ducks, and to Mr. Robert Halsted for bringing this material 
into the National Museum, Bulawayo, for identification. 

References : 

Benson, C. W., Brooke, R. K., Dowsett, R. J. & Irwin, M. P. S. 1971. The birds of Zambia. 

London: Collins. 
Delacour, J. 1956. The waterfowl of the World, vol. 2. London: Country Life. 
Moreau, R. E. 1972. The Palaearctic- African bird migration systems. London & New York: 

Academic Press. 
Took, J. M. E. 1959. Pintail Anas acuta in Southern Rhodesia. Ostrich 30(2): 84. 
Winstanley, D. 1973. Rainfall patterns and general atmospheric circulation. Nature 245 

(no. 5422): 190-194. 

[R. J. Dowsett {in litt.) reports the following records of palaearctic Anatidae from Zambia 
in the 1973-74 rains: — Pintail: Kitwe, one 26 Dec. to 3 Jan. (B. Coates, Dr. E. H. Penry); 
Mufulira, one 8 to 13 Jan. (T. Sims, G. P. Robinson). European Shoveler Anas clypeata: 
Kitwe, four 25 Dec, three 27 Dec. and 1 Jan., one 17 Jan. (Coates, Penry). Garganey Anas 
querquedula: Recorded from Mufulira, Kitwe, Blue Lagoon and Lochinvar, first at Mufulira 
30 Nov. Maximum numbers (the largest yet recorded from Zambia) were at Lochinvar in 
Mar., when 100+ were counted (T. O. Osborne, R. Stjernstedt). — Ed.] 

Larus tninutus in Angola 

by J. C. Sinclair 

Received 10th December, iyj) 
A very small gull was sighted flying overhead in Lobito harbour, Angola, 
ca. i2°S., on 6 May 1973. The bird was seen again a few minutes later, when 
sufficiently adequate views were obtained to identify it as a Little Gull Larus 
minutus Pallas, and the following description was noted: — Upperparts: fore- 
head and front of crown white; rest of crown, nape, mantle and wings grey; 
leading edges of primaries black, likewise edges of secondary coverts which 
formed a conspicuous W on upper- wings ; square-ended tail white narrowly 
tipped black. Underparts: — mainly white with pale underwings. 

The bird was in company with Black Terns Chlidonias nigra, and was 
noticeably larger. The flight was bouyant and tern-like, on wings which had 
a rounded appearance at the tip. The bill was short, stubby and dark in 
colour. No black spot behind the eye was apparent. 

This record appears to be the first for the Little Gull south of the Canary 
Islands (Watson 1965, Seabirds of the tropical Atlantic Ocean), and the species 
is not mentioned by White (1965, A revised check-list of African non-passerine 
birds). 

[The above note has been read by R. Wagstaffe. With long experience of palearctic gulls, 
he considers the record authentic. — Ed.] 

57 



Fish offal scavengers off Luanda 

by J. C. Sinclair 

Received ioth December, iyjj 
Brooke (1971, Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 91: 46) records Little Egrets Egretta 
gar^etta and Grey Herons Ardea cinerea scavenging inside the harbour at 
Luanda, Angola. On 10 and 1 1 May 1973 dawn sea- watches were carried out 
at the northern tip of the "island" just off Luanda. The "island" runs parallel 
to the coast and forms the outer bar of the bay, the northern tip being at the 
bay entrance. During the course of the morning many small fishing craft 
entered the bay, gutting fish and throwing the offal overboard. Groups of 
ca. 500 Little Egrets and ca. 140 Grey Herons were assembled on the sandy 
point not far from the Casuarina trees where they breed and on sighting a 
boat offshore would fly out to meet it and follow it into the bay entrance 
picking up, in the manner described by Brooke {pp. cit.), pieces of offal 
discarded by the boats. The Little Egrets were noticeably more adept at 
foraging than the ponderous Grey Herons. They would even take fish out of 
unattended baskets when the boats had been berthed. Some boats were joined 
by the herons and egrets at a distance of up to a mile offshore. A Grey Heron 
was seen to plunge and settle on the water to peck at a large piece of offal and 
had no great difficulty flying up and pursuing the boat again. Other species 
seen following the boats were one immature black-backed gull either Larus 
fuscus or dominicanus, Arctic Skuas S tenor arius parasiticus (one skua made an 
attempt to harry a Little Egret but with little success), Royal Terns Thalasseus 
maximus, Black Terns Chlidonias nigra and a Palm-nut vulture Gypohierax 
angolensis. The last named, although it did not directly follow the boats, did 
pick a fish from the water surface in its talons. 

I am obliged to R. K. Brooke for commenting on a draft of this note. 

Vocal mimesis in nestling Greater Honey-guides 

by C. H. Fry 

Received iyth December, 1973 
In February and March 1973 I studied the social organisation of Red-throated 
Bee-eaters Merops bulocki in breeding colonies at Zaria, n°o8'N, 7°47'E, 
northern Nigeria. Using an industrial endoscope (fibroxscope) with portable 
6v light source, I was able to make regular observations not only of young bee- 
eaters in situ in their nests at the end of 1 m long tunnels, but also of young 
Greater Honey-guides Indicator indicator that the bee-eaters fostered. 

African honey-guides parasitise a wide variety of hole-nesting birds, with 
some preference by Indicator minor and /. variegatus for other piriform species, 
particularly barbets (Friedmann 1955, Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus. 108: 309). Al- 
though /. indicator often parasitises barbets and woodpeckers, a much greater 
number of records involve coraciiform hosts, particularly six or more Merops 
species which constitute about one third of the known cases (Friedmann 1970, 
Los Angeles Co. Mus. Contrib. Sci. 205 : 1). Most tropical bee-eaters lay 2-4 
eggs; many of these are destroyed by the female honey-guide, and young bee- 
eaters hatching from unbroken or subsequently laid eggs are, in most cases, 
destroyed by the newly-hatched honey-guide, which usually comes to occupy 
the nest alone. 

Nestling M. bulocki have a loud and insistent food-soliciting call "sif-sif-sif- 
sif . . .", about five syllables per second. At least until their eyes begin to open 



at about eight days, it is easily elicited by a variety of stimuli, with the intensity 
of which its loudness and frequency are positively correlated. Using the endo- 
scope for visual corroboration, I found it easy to distinguish by ear a nestling 
calling alone from more than one nestling calling simultaneously, but very 
difficult to distinguish two from three or more. 

The begging call of the nestling L indicator is a loud and insistent, irregularly- 
timed series of "sifs", 5-10 syllables per second. It is delivered with the head 
sunk into the shoulders and the beak held vertically upwards. Skead (195 1, 
Auk 68 : 52) described the call as "husky and perpetual". He likened it to the 
guiding call of the adult /. indicator and noted that it can be heard, greatly 
accelerated and intensified, 75 yards from the nest whenever a foster parent 
approaches with food. To my ear the voice was not so much husky as sibilant, 
and extremely similar to the voice of nestling M. bulocki. However, the food- 
soliciting call of the nestling /. indicator resembles not one but two (or more) M. 
bulocki nestlings calling simultaneously. 

Vocal convergence between parasite and host nestlings is not unexpected, 
in view of the diversity of mimetic resemblances that has evolved between 
brood parasites and their hosts at all growth stages (Lack 1968, Ecological 
adaptations for breeding in birds). Indeed such convergence has been suggested 
for some cuckoos (Courtney 1967, Emu 67: 1 54-157). But the call of a nestling 
/. indicator is likely to evoke the feeding response in an adult bee-eater more 
powerfully than the call of a single bee-eater nestling. If so, it would confer 
the selective advantage that the parasite would compete effectively for the 
attention of provisioning adults with neighbouring nests in the colony, however 
many nestlings they contain. In this and other colonial species of Merops, 
young in the nest are fed not only by their parents but by adult non-breeding 
helpers whose bonds with the parents are not strong enough to ensure their 
complete fidelity to their adopted nest (Fry 1972, Ibis 1 14: 1). Even were there 
no helpers, the honey-guide call is probably a super-normal stimulus that 
elicits the feeding response of any passing adult bee-eater, just as the begging 
call and wide, brightly coloured gape of the young Cuckoo Cuculus canorus does 
with adult passerines. Observations at one parasitised nest on 16 March 
suggested that during a three hour period at least four adult bee-eaters fed 
the 1 5 -day old honey-guide chick. 

At least up to two weeks of age, /. indicator nestlings were found to be 
extremely voracious; in the nest they tried to engulf the 10 mm diameter tip 
of the endosope, and when handled one bird attempted to swallow a finger. 
Why provisioning bee-eaters are not harmed by the nestling's needle sharp 
mandibular hooks is not at all apparent. 

I am most grateful to Dr. H. Friedmann and Dr. J. B. Nelson for their 
comments upon an earlier draft of this paper. 

Buteo tachardus Andrew Smith 1830 

by R. K. Brooke 

Received 21st November, 19J3 
Roberts (1940), Courtenay-Latimer (1941) and Clancey (195 1) showed that 
South Africa had a small resident Buteo as well as the well known large B. 
rufofuscus (Forster) 1798. These authors associated it with B. oreophilus 
Hartert & Neumann 1914 with type locality Koricha in Ethiopia. Rudebeck 
(1957) demonstrated that the small South African Buteo was not the same as 
the northeast African B. oreophilus and proposed for it the name Buteo buteo 

59 



tri^onatus with type locality Knysna in the southern Cape Province of South 
Africa. He described it as smaller and duller than B. b. vulpinus (Gloger) 1833 
and with clear white between the brown streaky markings of the breast and 
lower abdomen. However, although he was unaware of it, he was not the 
first author to describe and name this bird. This was done by Smith (1830: 
381) who in discussing the Buteo species of what is now the Cape Province 
listed B. lagopus by which he meant what we know as Hieraaetus pennatus 
(Gmelin) 1788 (Roberts 1936 thought so and I concur), B. tachardus by which 
he meant what we have known as B. b. triyonatus Rudebeck 1957 and B. 
desertorum (Daudin) 1800 which is an indeterminable name normally applied 
in the past, as here, to what we know as B. b. vulpinus (Gloger) 1833. 

Smith (1830), as many others have done, found Buteo specimens confusing. 
Nonetheless, he drew attention to and named a small form (18 J ins. long, 
i.e. just over 460 mm) with a clear white upper abdomen between the brown 
streaked and blotched breast and lower abdomen. The significant part of his 
description reads: — 

"under parts white, with the throat streaked by narrow longitudinal 
brown lines, and the breast and posterior (my italics) part of the belly 
more or less spotted with oblong or roundish brown blotches". 

The description is repeated with slightly different wording and punctuation 
in Smith (1834). He believed that he was dealing with Le Vaillant's (1799) Le 
Tachard and Falco tachardus Daudin 1800, both of which are synonyms of 
Perms apivorus (L.) 1758 (Hartert 1914). What Smith (1830) thought he was 
doing is of little importance in comparison with what he did do, i.e. describe 
a taxon in Buteo which subsequent study has shown to be valid : cf. Vaurie 
(195 1) on the validation of Hirundo lagopoda Pallas 181 1 where the latter also 
confused the issue with irrelevant citations. Two of Smith's specimens of B. 
tachardus were examined in the British Museum (Natural History) by Rude- 
beck (1958) who placed them with his tri^onatus so there can be no doubt that 
the form was known to Smith. 

I conclude that Buteo tachardus Smith 1830 is an unequivocal description of 
what Rudebeck (1957, 1958) clarified under the name B. b. tri^onatus and that 
since Smith's name has undisputable priority and does not fall within the 
conserving terms of Articles 23 and 79 of the International Code of Zoo- 
logical Nomenclature as set out in Bull. Zool. Nomencl. 29: 185-186, it must 
be used by any zoologist who believes that the small South African Buteo is 
an objective taxon. 

Rudebeck (1957) gave the type locality of his tri^onatus as Knysna, Cape 
Province, South Africa. Since by 1830 Smith had not worked outside what 
is now the Cape Province (Roberts 1936), Knysna can be regarded as the 
restricted type locality of B. tachardus. Smith's surviving specimens of this 
form are labelled only as coming from South Africa (Rudebeck 1958) but 
there is no reason why they should not have been obtained at or near Knysna. 
If a lectotype is required, one of these specimens should be chosen. 

Following Siegfried (1971) I regard B. tachardus Smith 1830 and B. oreo- 
philus Hartert & Neumann 19 14 as conspecific and not part of B. buteo (L.) 
1758. The new nomenclatural combinations required are, therefore, Buteo 
tachardus tachardus and Buteo tachardus oreophilus with Buteo buteo tri^onatus as a 
subjective synonym of B. t. tachardus. For check list purposes the name 
should appear as : — 

Buteo tachardus tachardus Smith 

Buteo tachardus Smith, 1830, S. Afr. Quart. Journ. 4: 381. South Africa, 

60 



restricted to Knysna, Cape Province, South Africa by Rudebeck (1957, 

S. Afr. Anim. Life 4: 418). 
I have examined the type of B. b. tri^onatus Rudebeck and all the specimens 
in South African museums that he placed with it (Table 1) and concur in his 
comments (Rudebeck 1957, 1958) as far as they go. I have not found any 
other specimens which should be referred to this form. A study of the moult 
of the primaries on the lines of Brooke et al. (1972) has elucidated certain 

TABLE 1 

Measurements in mm of Buteo t. tachardus specimens. 

use urn and no. 

Type 



Age 


Sex 


Wing 


Cnlmen 


Hind clarv 


Museum and no. 


ad. 


c? 


340 


21 


19 


T.M.P. 6278 


ad. 


cJ 


340 


21 


19 


24273 


ad. 


? 


345 


23 


22 


E.L.M. 578 


ad. 


? 


350 


23 


23 


N.M.PMB — 


ad. 


oj? 


350 


21 


20 


T.M.P. 61 


ad. 


o«J? 


335 


21 


19 


A.M.G. 968 


imm. 


oJ? 


330 


21 


21 


T.M.P. 6281 


imm. 


? 


350 


21 


22 


6280 


imm. 


0?? 


365 


23 


21 


62 


imm. 


o$? 


350 


22 


23 


6279 


juv. 


?<?? 


335 


20 


19 


545° 


juv. 


0?? 


340 


22 


— 


„ 5006 



aspects of plumage succession. On the apparently well founded assumption 
that juveniles (first year birds) show no moult of the primaries, immatures 
(second year birds) show a simple descending mode of moult and adults a 
jumbled mode of moult (see also Stresemann & Stresemann 1966 on B. b. 
buteo) it can be stated that the juvenile and immature plumages of B. t. 
tachardus are characterized by leg feathers which are white with a few brown 
spots or blotches (this is not individual variation as believed by Smith 1830) 
whereas in adults and in all age classes of B. b. vulpinus the legs are predomin- 
antly dark brown of some shade. In addition, the darkest specimens of 
tachardus are all adults but the sample I have seen (Table 1) is too small to say 
if this is always true in a member of a genus as notoriously variable as Buteo 
is. 

Although Siegfried (1971) accepted the sight record of B. t. tachardus in the 
northern Potgietersrus District of the Transvaal (not far from The Downs) by 
van der Merwe & Pienaar (1959), I do not. The latter authors give no details 
in support of their record of an apparent rarity; they do not record the much 
more probable B. b. vulpinus despite visiting the area in summer (judging by 
the number of summer visitors they list : they do not give the dates of their 
visits) ; they record for the area a number of species which are not known 
from anywhere near Potgietersrus, e.g. Turdoides leucopygius, Lanioturdus 
torquatus, Onychognathus nabouroup, again without comment. 

I am obliged to Mr. C. Jacot-Guillarmod of the Albany Museum in 
Grahamstown, Dr. A. C. Kemp of the Transvaal Museum in Pretoria, Dr. 
J. A. Pringle of the Natal Museum in Pietermaritzburg and Mr. C. Quickel- 
berge of the East London Museum for facilities for study and to Mr. P. A. 
Clancey for commenting on a draft of this paper. 

References : 

Brooke, R. K., Grobler, J. H., Irwin, M. P. S. & Steyn, P. 1972. A study of the migratory 
eagles Aquila nipalensis and A. pomarina (Aves: Accipitridae) in southern Africa, with 
comparative notes on other large raptors. Occ. Pap. Nat. Mus. Rhod. B5 : 61-114. 

Clancey, P. A. 195 1. Notes on the birds of the South African sub-continent. Ann. Natal 
Mus. 12: 137-152. 

61 



Courtenay-Latimer, M. 1941. Breeding of the Mountain Buzzard. Ostrich 12: 20-23. 
Hartert, E. 1914. Die Vogel der pal darktischen Fauna II. Berlin. 
Le Vaillant, F. 1799. Histoire naturelle des oiseaux d'Afrique I. Paris. 

Roberts, A. 1936. Some unpublished field notes made by Dr. (Sir) Andrew Smith. Ann. 
Transv. Mus. 18: 271-323. 

— 1940. The birds of South Africa. London : H. F. & G. Witherby. 

Rudebeck, G. 1957. Buteo buteo tri^pnatus, a new buzzard from the Union of South Africa. 
S. Afr. Anim. Life 4: 415-437. 

— 1958. Some additional notes on the buzzard, Buteo buteo tri^pnatus. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 78 : 

54-56. 
Siegfried, W. R. 1971. Affinities of the small African and palaearctic buteos. Ostrich Suppl. 

8: 41-46. 
Smith, A. 1830. A description of the birds inhabiting the south of Africa. S. Afr. Quart. 

fourn. 4: 380-391, per Willughby Soc. reprint. 
Smith, A. 1834. African zoology. S. Afr. Quart. Journ. 273-288, per Willughby Soc. reprint. 
Stresemann, E. & Stresemann, V. 1966. Die Mauser der Vogel. fourn. Ornith. Sonderheft. 
van der Merwe, N. J. & Pienaar, D. 1959. A preliminary list of the birds of the Percy Fyfe 

Nature Reserve. Ostrich 30: 130-133. 
Vaurie, C. 1951. Notes on some Asiatic swallows. Amer. Mus. Novit. 1529. 



The African southern limits of the Steppe Eagle in winter 

by R. K. Brooke 

Received 21 st January, 1974 
Brooke, Grobler, Irwin & Steyn (1972, Occ. Pap. Nat. Mus. Rhod. B5 : 61- 
114) set out the known records of the Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis orientalis 
in southern Africa in detail and predicted that, at least at times, it should 
extend south into the Karoo of the Cape Province of South Africa since its 
predominant prey, alates of the Harvester Termite Hodotermes mossambicus, 
are abundant there. This proves to be the case. The East London Museum 
has a specimen received from J. Pete, a farmer in the Tarkastad District of 
the Cape Province, who used to trap birds for his aviaries and pass on to the 
museum those that died. Hence the date of death of this specimen, 1 5 June 
1942, has nothing to do with its time of occurrence near Tarkastad other than 
to provide a terminus post quern. The specimen is a very dark fourth year male 
on the characters set out in Brooke et al. {pp. cit.) with wing 585, culmen from 
cere 41, hind claw 32 mm. It may be assumed that it was trapped on or close 
to fete's farm, i.e. ca. 32°io / S, 26°oo'E, as were his other birds (Dr. M. 
Courtenay Latimer pers. comm.). 

Clancey (195 1, Ann. Natal Mus. 12: 137-15 1) reported a specimen of 
A. n. orientalis from Himeville, Natal at 29^5 'S, 29°3i'E. Upon examination 
of the specimen in the Natal Museum, Pietermaritzburg, I find it to be a first 
year male with wing 575, culmen from cere 36, hind claw 32 mm. 

I am obliged to Dr. M. Courtenay-Latimer, Director of the East London 
Museum, and to Dr. J. A. Pringle, Director of the Natal Museum, for facili- 
ties for study. 

A further record of the White-eyed Gull 
Icarus leucophthalmus from Beira, Mozambique 

by B. G. Donnelly 

Received 19th fanuary, 1974 
On 12 March 1972, a small gull fitting the description of a second winter or 
non-nuptial plumaged White-eyed Gull Larus leucophthalmus (see Dwight 
1925, Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 52: 152) was observed at the fishing 

62 



harbour at Beira. The bird was feeding with numerous Grey-headed Gulls 
L. cirrocephalus, and a single Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus. In flight 
the bird was more agile than L. cirrocephalus and slightly smaller in size as 
mentioned by Liversidge (1964, Ostrich 35 : 111-112). The overall plumage 
colour was bumsh-white while the tail had a sub-terminal band of dark spots. 
The head was greyish with an imperfectly formed black hood. The bill, legs 
and feet were yellowish-brown. The dark primaries and secondaries formed 
a conspicuous terminal band on the wings. 

The only other sightings of this species from southern Africa were made 
at Beira (Benson 1948, Ostrich 19: 1 50-1 51) and Port Elizabeth (Liversidge 
op. cit.), both during the month of January. These and the present record 
suggest that individuals of this species may only move this far south of their 
usual range around the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden (Archer & Godman 1937, 
Birds of British Somali land and the Gulf of Aden 2) during December to March. 
Incidentally, Liversidge was dubious about Benson's record, but Benson 
(pers. comm., 25 July 1973) states that the bird which he saw was most 
carefully identified with the aid of Alexander (1928, Birds of the Ocean. 
London: Putnam). 

The Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 

in southern and central Africa 

by B. G. Donnelly 

Received 19th January, 1974 
Only recently has the occurrence of Larus fuscus in southern Africa been 
generally accepted (McLachlan & Liversidge 1970), while data on this 
species from central Africa are scarce. This communication brings together 
the published data and several new observations, and discusses birds pre- 
viously identified as L. dominicanus. 

Larus fuscus breeds in Iceland, the Faeroes, along the coasts of the British 
Isles, Scandinavia, Finland and the Baltic and winters on the west coast of 
Africa, the Mediterranean, Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden with some birds, 
L. f fuscus, moving inland to the Great Lakes of East Africa (Archer & 
Godman 1937; Vaurie 1965). Moreau (1972) points out that L. fuscus is often 
abundant at times in East Africa and that they range as far south as Botswana 
around 18 S. 

The closely related Southern Black-backed Gull L. dominicanus occurs 
around the coast of southern Africa from Angola to Lourenco Marques 
(McLachlan & Liversidge 1970), South America and outlying islands, like- 
wise in New Zealand (Dwight 1925) and also in south-western Madagascar 
(Delacour 1932; Rand 1936; Milon 1948, 1950). 

. The two species are very similar in appearance. Measurements of wing, 
tail, tarsus and length of culmen per se are of little use in distinguishing them 
as there is a wide range of overlap (Dwight 1925 ; McLachlan & Liversidge 
1970). However the bill and tarsus are more slender in L. fuscus, culmen more 
than three times depth at the base, while in L. dominicanus the culmen is less 
than three times the depth at the base (Dwight 1925 : 126). This also applies 
to the depth at the angle of the lower mandible and is a useful field character. 
The yellow legs and feet of L. fuscus compared with the greenish-yellow or 
bluish-grey legs and feet of L. dominicanus is probably the most diagnostic 
field character. In adult birds the black mantle of L. dominicanus is similar to 
that of L. fuscus in the field. Birds with slate-grey or paler mantles could not 

63 



be confused with L. dominicanus as these would either belong to the British 
race L. f graellsii or races from northern Europe or Eurasia. However, 
workers who are familiar with the heavier build and waddling gait of L. 
dominicanus of coastal South Africa would have little trouble in distinguishing 
the more slender L.fuscus in the field. 

Recent observations show that L.fuscus occurs south of the Zambesi more 
frequently than previously realised and that individuals have been recorded 
near Durban at 30 S (Clancey in lift.). Several records of black-backed gulls 
from inland waters of South Africa have been attributed to L. dominicanus 
and these identifications were rightly questioned by Harwin (1952). Thus 
there has been some confusion in the past concerning the field characters of 
L. fuscus and L. dominicanus especially toward the southern edge of the range 
of the former in Africa. In the light of the data gathered in Tables 1 and 2 it 
is more likely that the gulls previously reported as L. dominicanus (Table 3) 



TABLE 1 

Larus fuscus: Collected material from southern and central Africa 



Date 


Plumage 


Locality 


Museum in which housed 


Zambia 








19.9.59 


imm.* 


Kabeti 


National Museums of Rhodesia, 
Bulawayo. 


29.12.69 


imm. 


Lochinvar 


National Museum of Zambia, 
Livingstone. 


Caprivi Strip 








n. 12. 61 


imm. 


Lake Liambesi 


National Museums of Rhodesia, 
Bulawayo. 


Rhodesia 








14.10.70 


imm. 


Lake Kariba 


National Museums of Rhodesia, 
Bulawayo. 


South Africa 








28.12.53 


imm. 


Bon Accord Dam, 
Pretoria. 


Transvaal Museum, Pretoria. 



* moulting into adult plumage. 

from far inland in South Africa (Joubert 1943; Prozeski & Campbell 195 1; 
Harwin 1952) were in fact L.fuscus. Indeed both editions of Roberts birds of 
South Africa (McLachlan & Liversidge 1957, 1970) erroneously report a 
bird collected at Bon Accord Dam, Pretoria as L. dominicanus. Dr. A. C. Kemp 
of the Transvaal Museum, who examined the specimen at my request, 
reported (in litt.) that "the bird is, by comparison, certainly Larus fuscus, 
with markedly less heavy bill and smaller size." 

The situation regarding the identification of black-backed gulls at Beira, 
Mocambique, has been equally confusing. Bolster (1933) and Moreau (1938) 
both record seeing L. dominicanus at this locality (Table 3). Winterbottom 
(1936) recorded black-backed gulls at Beira but stated that "I cannot pretend 
to be competent to differentiate between the two species in the field." Benson 
(1948) saw several gulls which "were either L. dominicanus Lichtenstein or a 
race of L.fuscus Linnaeus." Worth (i960) recorded several black-backed gulls 
at Beira harbour during July and August 1959. These were identified as L. 
dominicanus mainly on the grounds that "one would not expect these northern 
migrants (L.fuscus) in southern waters in July and August." Since L.fuscus 
has now been recorded from southern Africa virtually throughout the year 
(Tables 1 and 2) this latter statement does not apply. Clancey (1969) points 
out that L. dominicanus has been recorded as far north as Lourenco Marques 

64 



TABLE 2. Visual observations assessed as Larus fuscus 



Date 


No. 


Plumage 


Locality 


Source 


Malawi 










Feb. 


— 


— 


Linthipe, Lake Malawi 


Benson (1953) 


Nov-Mar 


"Not uncommon' 


' — 


Lake Malawi 


>> ■>■> 


3.12.60 


1 


ad. 


Lake Chilwa 


Long (1962) 


21.12.60 


4 1 


— 


>> •>■> 




21.10.59 


I 


imm. 


Fort Johnston, Shire River „ „ 


14. 10.61 


"Few" 


— 


Kota Kota, Lake Malawi 


>> >> 


May i960 


4 


— 


„ 




Zambia 
Jan-Mar 


— 


— 


Libonda and between 
Silonga and Lukulu, 
Zambesi River 


White & 

Winterbottom 

(1949) 


— 


1 


— 


Itawa Swamp 




23.7.65 


1 


ad. 


Mfuwe, Luangwa River 


Benson et a/. 

(1970) 


16.9.64 


1 


imm. 


Lochinvar 


R. J. Dowsett 
(in litt.) 


13.3.72 


2 
i 


ads. 

imm. 


Sumbu, Lake Tanganyika 


>> >> 



[Benson et al. (1971, The birds of Zambia. London: Collins) summarised the local records, 

and included a few additional to those above — Ed.] 

Botswana 

22.9.70 1 

Mozambique 

12.3.72 1 
Rhodesia 

19.10.52 1 

3.4.60 i 2 

5.6.68 1 

9.6-31.7.67 1 

4.10.68 1 

22.12.69 1 
„ 1 

16.12.70 i 2 

20.1. 71 1 

16.9.71 1 

10. 12. 71 3 

July 1973 1 

21.5.66 1 

8.3.70 1 

April 1970 1 



13. 2.71 1 
Nov7o-May7i 1 

Jan-May 71 1 

28.1.72 1 

3 

13.7.72 1 
South Afrka 

Dec 72-Jan 73 1 

1972 r 



ad. 


Lake Ngami 


A. J. Tree 

(in litt.) 


ad. 


Beira 


B.G.D. 


ad. 


Pasi Dam, Gatooma 


R. K. Brooke 

(in litt.) 


imm. 


Chirundu 


Tree (1961) 


ad. 


Chikwenya Is., 


G. R. Thomson 




Zambesi/Sapi junction 


(in litt.) 


imm. 


Lake Kariba 


B.G.D. 


ad. 


,, ,, 


>» 


ad. 


>> >> 




imm. 


„ ,, 


>> 


imm. 


,, ,, 


» 


imm. 


»» >j 


G. W. Begg 

(in litt.) 


imm. 


,, ,, 


,, ,, 


ads. 


,, ,, 


,, ,, 


imm. 


n ,, 


tt 


ad. 


» 


A. J. Conway 
(in litt.) 


imm. 


Lake Mcllwaine, 


R. K. Brooke 




Salisbury 


(in litt.) 


imm. 


,, ,, 


» >> 


ad. 


„ 


R. A. Bourlay 
(in litt.) 


ad. 


>> >> 


R. I. G. Attwell 
(in litt.) 


ad. 


>> >> 


B. D. Connock 

(in litt.) 


imm. 


,, „ 


>> >j 


ad. 


5> 5> 


R. K. Brooke 

(in litt.) 


imm. 


>> J> 


>> ,, 


ad. 




Tree (1973) 


ad. 


Umgeni River Mouth, 


P. A. Clancey 




Durban 


(in litt.) 


ad. 


Natal Coast 


,, ,, 



1 "moulting" (Long 1962) 2 moulting into adult plumage 

3 A live crippled bird in the aviaries, Mitchell Park, Durban. 



TABLE 3 

Black-backed gulls of uncertain identity or identified as Larus dominicanus now considered 

more likely to have been L. fuscus 



Date 


No. 


Plumage Locality 


Source 


Mozambique 

24.3.32 

8-9.3.35 


"several" 
"several" 


— Beira 
ad. and imm. „ 


Bolster (1933) 
Winterbottom (1936) 


29.11-2.12.35 


"common" 




>> » 


17-18. 5. 37 
28.1.47 
July, Aug 59 
South Africa 
May 1 941 


2-9 

"several" 

"several" 

1 


>> 
ads. 
ad. and imm. „ 

— Alexander Dam, 
Geduld 
Barberspan 

>> 
ad. Odendaalsrus 


Moreau (1938) 
Benson (1948) 
Worth (i960) 

Joubert (1943) 


Feb 1952 
24.1.59 


1 
1 


Prozeski & 
Campbell (195 1) 
Harwin (1952) 
Brooke (1960) 



on the east coast but that "some of the black-backed gulls occurring at Beira 
may be applicable to Larus fuscus Linnaeus rather than L. dominicanus. No 
specimens exist at the present time in order to investigate this matter." 
Clancey's caution is noted since an occasional movement of L. dominicanus 
to as far north as Beira is not impossible but which I feel would be highly 
unlikely. In addition the lack of confidence in the identifications and the 
growing list of Z.. fuscus data from inland and coastal waters suggest that the 
above records were very likely to have been L. fuscus (Table 3). 

The occurrence of L. dominicanus in south-western Madagascar at between 
24 and 2 5 ° S is important in discussion relating to movements on the east 
coast of Africa. McLachlan & Liversidge (1970) state that it is a migrant from 
the Cape to Natal and northwards. Rand (1936) gives the earliest date of 
occurrence for Madagascar (in the extreme south-west) as 12 February and 
the latest as 4 March 1930. This would also imply that it is a migrant and if 
so South Africa would be the obvious origin of the birds. However, Milon 
(1950) records seeing 45 birds on 26 January, also in the extreme south-west, 
and the same author (1948) reports June and July observations on L. domini- 
canus from this same area. A female collected on 19 July had the ovary 
measuring 27X7 mm and the three bigger eggs measured 4-8-5-3 mm. 
Further north in western Madagascar, despite years of experience, Father O. 
Appert (in litt. to Benson) has only once seen a gull with a black mantle, 
which he believes was L. dominicanus, at Lac Iotry (22 S) on 12 May 1964. 
The presence of birds during summer and winter months together with the 
suggestion of local breeding points to a resident population of/., dominicanus 
in south-western Madagascar and not a migration from Africa. 

On 1 2 March 1972, a single adult L. fuscus was seen together with several L. 
cirrocephalus and a single L. leucophthalmus in the fishing harbour at Beira 
(B.G.D.). This bird was flying above the other gulls and attempted to rob 
them of food picked up from the water. In striking contrast to the sooty 
black mantle and wings of L. dominicanus and the adult examples of L. f 
fuscus personally seen on Lake Kariba this bird had a fresh slate-grey plumage 
characteristic of the British race L.f. graellsii. This race of JL. fuscus generally 
winters on the Atlantic coast of Africa and has not been recorded from the 
inland waters of the continent (Archer & Godman 1937; Vaurie 1965; 
Moreau 1972). However, the bird collected at Kabeti (Table 1) was identified 

66 



as "probably a pale individual of L. f fuscus, though showing some inter- 
gradation with L. f graelsii" (Benson i960). It would be surprising that an 
example of a western Palaearctic population should be found on the east 
coast of Africa. While the Beira bird could perhaps have followed the coast 
from the Mediterranean, Red Sea and southwards from Somaliland, the more 
likely possibility arises that it belonged to part of the L. fuscus complex of 
races from northern Europe or Eurasia. Indeed Voous (1965) gained the 
impression that birds observed at Mombasa, Kenya, were intermediate 
between L. f fuscus and L. f graellsii and suggested that they "probably 
belonged to some of the dark-mantled populations of Larus fuscus antelius 
from North Russia or Northwest Siberia." He mentioned too that they "did 
not clearly show the characters of the lighter and slightly more eastern 
populations more properly known as L. f heuglini" although one bird 
"probably was slightly lighter." 

Harris (1962) states that most of the British populations oiL. fuscus move 
south between August and October and return during March and April. 
However, 83% of British ringed birds recovered from the Atlantic coast of 
Africa were in their first year and all June and July birds recovered abroad 
were under breeding age. This trend must also apply to other western and 
central European populations. It would seem, therefore, that the European 
visitors to Africa arrive largely in immature plumage and probably remain 
south until they approach maturity. While the bulk of the observations have 
been made during the months October to March both adults and immature 
birds have been recorded in southern and central Africa virtually throughout 
the year (Tables 1 and 2). Harris (1970) points out "that some gulls do not 
attain full adult plumage even when seven years old", thus the actual duration 
of stay in Africa by individuals is uncertain. 

Acknowledgements : I am very grateful to Mr. M. P. Stuart Irwin of the 
National Museum, Bulawayo, and Mr. R. K. Brooke of the Durban Museum 
and Art Gallery for reading and commenting on an earlier draft of the text. 
I would also like to thank Dr. A. C. Kemp for examining material in the 
Transvaal Museum, Pretoria, and my colleague Mr. G. W. Begg of the Lake 
Kariba Fisheries Research Institute, Rhodesia, for collecting a specimen and 
providing several sight records at my request. I am particularly indebted to 
Mr. C. W. Benson for his criticism and contribution to the data on Mada- 
gascar. My thanks are also due to Mr. P. A. Clancey, Durban Museum and 
Art Gallery, and Mr. R. J. Dowsett, National Museum of Zambia, Living- 
stone, for providing much supporting data. 

References : 

Archer, G. & Godman, E. M. 1937. The birds of British Somaliland and the Gulf of Aden 2. 

London: Gurney & Jackson. 
Benson, C. W. 1948. Notes from a sea voyage: December, 1946 — January, 1947. Ostrich 19: 

150-151. 

— 1953. A check list of the birds of Nyasaland. Blantyre: Nyasaland Society. 

— i960. Recent records from north-western Northern Rhodesia. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 80: 

106-112. 
Benson, C. W., Brooke, R. K., Dowsett, R. J. & Irwin, M. P. S. 1970. Notes on the birds of 

Zambia: Part V. Arnoldia {Rhodesia) 4: 1-59. 
Bolster, R. C. 1933. Sea birds observed on an east coast voyage. Ostrich 4: 15-20. 
Brooke, R. K. 1960. Waterfowl on the Orange Free State Goldfields. Ostrich 31: 27-29. 
Clancey, P. A. 1969. A handlist of the birds of southern Mozambique. Part 1. Mems. Inst. 

Invest, cient. Mocamb. 10, A: 145-303. 
Delacour, J. 1932. Les oiseaux de la Mission Zoologique Franco-Anglo-Am ericaine a 

Madagascar. Oiseau 2: 1-96. 
D wight, J. 1925. The gulls (Laridae) of the world. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 72: 63-401. 

67 



Harris, M. P. 1962. Migration of the British Lesser Black-backed Gull as shown by ringing 
data. Bird Study 9 : 1 74-1 82. 

— 1970. Abnormal migration and hybridization oi Larus argentatus and L.fuscus after inter- 

species fostering experiments. Ibis 112: 488-498. 
Harwin, R. M. 1952. Does the European Lesser Black-backed Gull migrate to South 

Africa? Ostrich 23: 123-124. 
Joubert, H. J. 1943. Some notes on birds. Ostrich 14: 1-7. 
Long, R. C. 1962. The Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus in Nyasaland. Ostrich 33(3): 

52 (as amended Ostrich 34: 52). 
McLachlan, G. R. & Liversidge, R. 1957. Roberts birds of South Africa. Cape Town: S. Afr. 

Bird Book Fund. 

— 1970. Roberts birds of South Africa. Cape Town: John Voelcker Bird Book Fund. 
Milon, Ph. 1948. Notes d'observation a Madagascar. Alauda 16: 55-74. 

— 1950. Deux jours au Lac Tsimanampetsotsa. Nat. Malgache 2: 61-67. 

Moreau, R. E. 1972. The Palaearctic- African bird migration systems. London & New York: 

Academic Press. 
Moreau, W. M. 1938. A transect census from London to Tanga via the Cape. Ostrich 9: 

35-46. 
Prozeski, O. P. M. & Campbell, T. 195 1. A day at Barberspan. Ostrich 22: 192-194. 
Rand, A. L. 1936. The distribution and habits of Madagascar birds. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. 

Hist. 72: 143-499. 
Tree, A. J. 1961. Observations on migrating movements of some migratory birds in 

Northern Rhodesia. Ostrich 32: 86-89. 

— 1973. Lesser Black-backed Gulls on Lake Mcllwaine. Honeyguide 73 : 32. 

Vaurie, C. 1965. The birds of the palearctic fauna. Non-passerines. London: H. F. & G. Wither- 

by. 
Voous, K. H. 1965. Summer records of Larus fuscus in Mombasa, Kenya. Ardea 53: 83. 
White, C. M. N. & Winterbottom, J. M. 1949. Check list of the birds of Northern Rhodesia. 

Lusaka: Govt. Printer. 
Winterbottom, J. M. 1936. Notes on birds around Beira in 1935. Ostrich 7: 32-38. 
Worth, C. B. i960. Notes on sea birds in harbours of Portuguese East Africa. Ostrich 31 : 

i73- I 74- 

Observations on a relationship between 
Crested Guineafowl and Vervet Monkeys 

by Geoffrey Hill 

Received 1st February, 1974 
The Vervet Monkey Cercopithecus aethiops is the object of a continuing field 
study in a coastal forest on the Natal North Coast, a forest which is also the 
southernmost station of the Crested Guineafowl Guttera edouardi. In this 
forest there are four fairly large (ca. 1 5 individuals in each) groups of Vervet 
Monkeys. When they feed in trees they are the highest mammals in the forest 
and thus have the widest view of their surroundings. It appears that other 
animals take advantage of this factor, as on many occasions Bushbuck 
Tragelaphus scriplus, Blue Duiker Cephalophus monticolus^ Red Forest Duiker 
C. natalensis, Common Duiker Sylvicapra grimmia, Cane Rats Thryonomys 
swinderianus and Crested Guineafowl have been noted feeding directly below 
the monkeys. 

Crested Guineafowl, especially, are found below them more often than not. 
They associate chiefly in the late afternoon at which time both animals have 
their final feed before retiring to sleep. This association is advantageous to 
the Crested Guineafowl as the Vervet Monkeys are very messy feeders and 
are continually dropping food items and knocking down seeds and berries. 
Thus, by standing under the feeding monkeys, the guineafowl receive a 
constant shower of food, since many of the kinds of berries that the monkeys 
eat are also eaten by the guineafowl. The monkeys' faeces also contain a 
large quantity of undigested seeds which the Crested Guineafowl probably 
eat (e.g. Lanlana camara, Melia a^ederach). 

68 



Bordering the forest is a sugar cane field in which the Vervet Monkeys 
spend considerable time, breaking canes which they carry off to the trees at 
the edge of the forest to eat. On most occasions the Crested Guineafowl 
accompany the monkeys to the forest edge and then wander along in the 
cleared fire-break which separates the forest from the sugar cane, where they 
dig up grubs and bulbs for food. They seldom stray far from where the 
monkeys are. 

When they are beneath the monkeys, the Crested Guineafowl seem to be 
less afraid of those things that would normally disturb them. While sitting 
on the ground watching the Vervet Monkeys, I have had Crested Guineafowl 
come within a metre or so of me, and on occasion they have approached my 
dog closely. Even when I move, the guineafowl do not appear to be unduly 
disturbed. 

It is not only the guineafowl who derive advantages from associating with 
the Vervet Monkeys : there is also a reciprocal advantage, since the monkeys 
react to the alarm calls of the guineafowl. When a flock of Crested Guinea- 
fowl are disturbed by my walking through the forest, they give a rapid 
"clicking" call and, often, within a few seconds, the Vervet Monkeys bark 
from some distance away. After 20 to 40 seconds, depending on how far away 
they are, the monkeys appear as if to investigate what had disturbed the 
guineafowl. 

When I take a companion into the forest with me, the Vervet Monkeys 
begin to bark as soon as they see him and normally the Crested Guineafowl 
"click" excitedly and move away from the area as if they recognize that the 
monkeys are barking at something which is a potential danger. But, on other 
occasions, their curiosity appears to overcome them and they venture closer 
to inspect the intruder. This foraging and warning relationship between the 
Crested Guineafowl and the Vervet Monkeys appears to be unreported in 
the literature. 

I am obliged to Mr. R. K. Brooke for criticizing a draft of this communi- 
cation. 

A new subspecies of Accipiter tachiro 
by M. Desjayes 

Received 2$rd November, iyj} 
In April and May 1971, the author made a collection of birds in the province 
of Kaffa in southwestern Ethiopia. The region extending from western 
Kaffa to Gore in the Illubabor province is covered with very dense unbroken 
humid forest which appears to be the largest expanse of rain-forest east of the 
Congo from which it is isolated by over 1000 km of dry savanna. As should 
be expected, a certain number of species collected are darker than those from 
the rest of Ethiopia, which is generally drier. 

Of the better differentiated birds are two specimens, a male and a female, of 
Accipiter tachiro. Both are notably darker below than any other specimens of 
the species. The barring of the female is definitely brown, not rufous. The 
flanks and thighs are also darker in the same proportion. The male is rufous 
below but also darker. Both sexes are separable at a glance from specimens 
of unduliventer (type locality Simien) from Ankobar, Shoa, Ali-Beret, Arussi 
and Manaco (between Anadi and Alelu, southern Ethiopia), and differ even 
more from unduliventer than do many specimens oisparsimfasciatus (type locality 
Zanzibar). The former is described as "darker, with heavier barring below 

69 



more washed with chestnut" (Brown & Amadon 1968); this character may 
show in a fair series but is not evident in a small collection and individuals 
are not always separable, as also noted by White (1965). The two Kaffa speci- 
mens are similar in size to unduliventer for which Brown & Amadon give: 
wing o* 184, $ 216 mm, and thus smaller than sparsimfasciatus. Weight 
appears to be a usually good indicative of size variations although this charac- 
ter is little used in subspecinc taxonomy, in part because of the paucity of 
data, although see Amadon (1943). The weights of two females, 408 and 509 
g, given by Brown & Amadon (1968) are a good measure of the size of 
sparsimfasciatus although they seem to be among the heaviest. These figures 
must have been derived from Moreau (1944). Verheyen (1953) gives £ 230 g 
for sparsimfasciatus from southern Zaire and Britton (1970) an identical 
figure from Tanzania, also in the distribution range of sparsimfasciatus. These 
weights as well as those from Kaffa specimens given below show the re- 
markable size dimorphism in this species. For the dark population of south- 
eastern Ethiopia, I propose the name: 

Accipiter tachiro croi^ati, subsp. nov. 

in honour of Dr. Leon Croizat (botanist, biogeographer and scholar, Member 
of the Academy of Sciences of Caracas, Corresponding Member of the 
American Museum of Natural History) who has devoted to ornithology a 
sizeable portion of his important work. 

Type: Adult male with testes enlarged. Locality: Afallo, altitude ca. 2050 m, 
Ghera region, 36°2o' E, 7°45' N, Kaffa province, 1 May 1971. U.S.Nat. Mus. 
No. 522426. 

Paratype: Adult female with ovary developing. Locality: Challa, altitude 
ca. 2100 m, about 20 km north of Afallo, 8 May. US. Nat. Mus. No. 522427. 

Diagnosis: Differs from unduliventer and from all other subspecies of 
Accipiter tachiro in being darker both above and below ("Verona brown" vs. 
"pecan brown" of Ridgway's Color Chart, 191 2). Size smaller than sparsim- 
fasciatus, equal to unduliventer. Tail spots large and distinct. Under tail-coverts 
barred with grey in q*, partly and very lightly so in $. 

Colours of bare parts: Male: Iris orange-yellow; orbital skin same but paler. 
Bill: upper mandible blackish, lower dark brown at tip, bluish at base; cere 
and commissures lemon-yellow. Legs and feet yellow ; soles paler and brighter 
yellow; claws dark brown. Female: Iris and orbital skin yellow. Bill: upper 
mandible blackish-slate, bluish at base of sides; cere and commissures 
greenish yellow; lower mandible blackish-slate, bluish in the middle, pale 
yellow at base. Legs, feet, soles and claws as in male. 

Measurements: Wing $ 172, $ 217; tail <$ 150, $ 190; bill from skull <$ zz, 
$ 25 ; tarsus £ 54, $ 60 mm. Weight 6* 145, ? 260 g. 

Material examined: Specimens of unduliventer, sparsimfasciatus and nominate 
tachiro in the U.S. National Museum and the American Museum of Natural 
History. 

Distribution: The rain-forest of southwestern Ethiopia. 

Acknowledgments 

I gratefully acknowledge the support of the National Geographic Society 
who made the collecting possible. My thanks also go to Dr. Dean Amadon 
who extended to me the use of the facilities of the American Museum of 
Natural History, and has commented on this paper. 

70 



References : 

Amadon, D. 1943. Bird weights as an aid in taxonomy. Wilson Bull. 55 : 164-177. 

Britton, P. L. 1970. Some non-passerine bird weights from East Africa. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 

90: 142-144. 
Brown, L. & Amadon, D. 1968. Eagles, hawks and falcons of the world. London : Country Life 

Books. 
Moreau, R. E. 1944. Some weights of African and of wintering Palaearctic birds. Ibis 86: 

16-29. 
Verheyen, R. 1953. Exploration du Pare National de PUpemba. Fasc. 19. Oiseaux. Inst. Pares 

Nat. Congo Beige, Bruxelles. 
White, C. M. N. 1965. A revised check-list of African non-passerine birds. Lusaka: Government 

Printer. 

The eggs of the Golden Conure Aratinga guarouba 

by Michael P. Walters 

Received 4th January, 1974 
There appear to be no references to the eggs of the Golden Conure in 
literature beyond the statement by Snethlage (1935) that an egg removed 
from the oviduct of a specimen collected on the Tocantins river on 13 th 
October 191 2, was "almost round". This has been quoted in Meise (1963-4) 
and by Forshaw (1973), without further comment. The collection of the 
British Museum (Natural History) contains seven eggs of this species, a c/6 
laid in August 1938 (reg. no. 1938.8. 1. 1-6) from the collection of the 
Marquis of Tavistock, and a single egg recently acquired from the collection 
of the late Col. F. E. W. Venning (reg. no. 1970.6.520). The Tavistock eggs 
are roundish ovals, two of them being narrowly pointed at the small end. 
They are smooth, but not glossy, and measure 35-4 x 25-7; 34-3 x 25-1; 
32-9 x 26-5; 35-1 x 25-8; 32-2 x 25-2; and 32-7 x 26-5 mm. The 
Venning egg is slightly smaller, 30-2 x 25-2 mm, and is almost round. 

References : 

Forshaw, J. M. 1973. Parrots of the world. Melbourne: Lansdowne Press. 
Meise, W. (ed.) 1964. Schonwetter: Handbuch der Oologie. Berlin: Akademie Verlag. 8-9. 
Snethlage, E. 1935. Beitrage zur Fortpfianzungsbiologie brasilianischer Vogel. Journ. 
Ornith. 83: 532-562. 

Reduced natal down in some emberizine species 

by C. J. 0. Harrison 

Received 1 8 th January, 1974 
In describing the natal pterylosis of the Swallow-tanager Tersina viridis, 
Collins (1973) has compared the extremely scanty down of this species with 
the more plentiful down of other Thraupinae species and suggested that the 
reduction of neossoptiles in that species and in the Violet Euphonia Tanagra 
violacea is correlated with a nest in a cavity or closed site as opposed to the 
more typical cup nest in an open site. He comments that further information 
is needed on this feature of tanagers and allied species. 

Recently observations were made on the captive breeding of Saffron 
Finches Sicalis flaveola (Harrison 1973). This species normally nests in a cavity 
or in the closed nest of a larger bird, and within the site builds a cup-type 
nest. The site used by the captive birds was a small hollow log, and it was 
only possible to examine one nestling at about six days old. This was almost 
naked, but close examination showed a few tiny, sparse down tufts on the 
middle of the dorsal tract, a few more on the upper wings, and one or two 
over each eye. 



Skutch (1954) cites the Yellow-faced Grassquit Tiaris olivacea as exceptional 
in having completely naked nestlings, and the species builds a thick-walled, 
domed nest with a small lateral entrance. 

Both Sicalis and Tiaris belong to the Emberizinae, and the present evidence 
suggests that in both subfamilies of the Emberizidae there is a reduction in 
the natal down of species nesting in closed nests, or nests within cavities. 

References : 

Collins, C. T. 1973. The natal pterylosis of the Swallow-tanager. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 93: 

I55-I57- 
Harrison, C. J. O. 1973. Observations on the behaviour and breeding of the Saffron Finch, 

Sicalis flaveola. Avicult. Mag. 79: 207-213. 
Skutch, A. F. 1954. Life histories of Central American Birds. Pacif. Cst Avifauna 31 : 121. 



Notes on the Lammergeyer Gypaetus barbatus 
on Kilimanjaro 

by I. H. Dillingham 

Received 1st February, 1974 
The summary of records of the Lammergeyer in East Africa by Schiiz (1973, 
Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 93 : 1 61-163) ^ as prompted me to publish two records of 
probably the same individual of this species seen by myself on 23 rd and 26th 
October 1956 at Engare Nairobi on the western slopes of Kilimanjaro at an 
altitude of approximately 4500 feet. 

On the first occasion I had a clear view of an adult Lammergeyer about 75 
yards from me at a height of about 100 feet circling over farmland. It then 
flew to a farm about half a mile away where it repeatedly circled low down 
over some outbuildings before disappearing eastwards. On the second 
occasion I was in the same general area when an adult was seen gliding 
overhead, again at a height of no more than 100 feet, finally disappearing in a 
northerly direction without circling. 

These two records at Engare Nairobi would appear to be the lowest 
altitude at which this species has been recorded on Kilimanjaro. This area is 
largely devoted to cattle farming and is relatively flat. Despite frequent visits 
to Engare Nairobi and the surrounding country during the period June 1956 
to August 1958 this species was never encountered on any other occasion. 

It may be noteworthy that all the records of the Lammergeyer on Kili- 
manjaro mentioned by Schiiz (1958, Journ. Ornith. 99: 394-398 and 1973, op. 
cit.) for which a date is quoted, plus my own records, fall within the period 
late August to December. The Mawenzi summit of Kilimanjaro is the most 
likely breeding area yet it is the most inaccessible and infrequently visited. 
The preponderance of records in the second half of the year, nearly all of 
which are on the west or south-west of the mountain, may represent post 
breeding dispersal from the eastern summit Mawenzi. An alternative ex- 
planation for this distribution of the Lammergeyer is that it breeds on Mount 
Meru which is a mere 3 5 miles west to south-west from the Shira Plateau. 
This mountain would appear to provide a much more suitable breeding 
habitat for this bird with its numerous crags. There is evidence from King 
(1973, Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 93: 68) that the Lammergeyer occurs there, but 
again it is a September record. 

I am most grateful to Mr. C. W. Benson for assistance in the preparation 
of these notes. 

72 



A discography of bird sound from the 
Neotropical Region 

by Jeffery Bos wall <& W. P. Freeman 

Received jth December, 197} 
This paper is the sixth to be published of a number of projected papers, each 
covering a major zoogeographical region of the world. For the Palearctic see 
Boswall (1964, 1966, 1969a, 1969b, 1970, 1 971) and Sellar (1973); for 
Australasia see Boswall (1965); for the Ethiopian Region Boswall & North 
(1967); for the Antarctic Boswall & Prytherch (1969); and for the Oriental 
Region Boswall (1973). A Nearctic discography is in final draft (Boswall & 
Kettle in press). 

The earliest Neotropical recordings of birds were probably those made on 
Barro Colorado Island, Panama, during World War II (Wyring, Allen & 
Kellogg 1945; Kellogg & Allen 1950, no. 1 in the following discography; 
and Asch & Ramsey 1952, no. 2 in the following discography). 

Since that time no doubt many workers have recorded birds in the Neo- 
tropical region. To try to bring together details of their results would not be 
an easy task. The primary purpose of this paper is to give details of published 
recordings; however some indication of the unpublished recordings that have 
been made is not entirely out of place. 

One of the outstanding contributions is that of the indefatigable L. Irby 
Davis who has recorded well over 350 species in Mexico, many of which are 
held at the Balcones Research Centre, University of Texas, Austin. Burton 
(1969), the BBC's wildlife sound librarian, includes reference in his main 
catalogue to a Least Bittern Ixobrychus exilis recorded in Colombia, and a 
Banded Wren Tbryothorus pleurost ictus recorded in Mexico. In the first supple- 
ment to the main catalogue the same compiler (Burton 1971) refers to a range 
of recordings by Ian Strange from the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic, 
as well as to some Trinidad recordings by D. W. Snow, and to one or two 
from Little Tobago (also in the West Indies) by Robina Gyle-Thompson. 
Burton's second supplement (1972) refers to a few recordings made in 
Jamaica by Oxford Scientific Films Ltd., to some additional Falkland Island 
recordings by Ian Strange and Tony Morrison, and to recordings from the 
Galapagos Islands in the Pacific made by Roger Perry and Bob Wade. 

Further recordings from the Galapagos Islands and from Barro Colorado 
Island in the Panama Canal have recently been incorporated into the BBC's 
Sound Archives (Burton 1973). And it is hoped that recordings of about forty 
bird species made in Argentina between October 1971 and March 1972 by 
Robin J. Prytherch, a member of the BBC Wildlife Expedition to Southern 
South America, may eventually be included in the BBC Sound Archives. 

Recordings of ca. 20 species made in Buenos Aires Province of Argentina 
by Donaldo Maclver Junior have been deposited with the British Library of 
Wildlife Sounds at the British Institute of Recorded Sound in London. 

A dozen or so recordings made in Brazil are preserved in the Library of 
Natural Sounds at the Laboratory of Ornithology at Ithaca, New York State, 
U.S.A., as are many Caribbean recordings of George B. Reynard, and no 
doubt many others from the region in question. 

The discography 

1. Kellogg, P. P. & Allen, A. A. 1950. Jungle Sounds. One 12-inch 78 r.p.m. disc no. BL 
4219-20. Comstock Publishing Co., Inc., Ithaca, N.Y., U.S.A. [11 birds, 1 mammal and 7 
amphibians, recorded in Panama.] 

73 



2. Asch, M. & Ramsey, F., Jr. 1952. Sounds of a Tropical Rain Forest in America. One 12- 
inch 33 r.p.m. disc no. FX 6120. Produced for the American Museum of Natural History 
by Folkways Records, 701, 7th Avenue, New York City, N.Y., 10036, U.S.A. [About 22 
birds, 1 mammal, a few insects, and about 6 amphibians, recorded in Panama and at the 
Bronx Zoo, New York City.] 

3. Davis, L. Irby. 1958. Mexican Bird Songs. One 12-inch 33-3 r.p.m. disc. Laboratory of 
Ornithology, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., U.S.A. [74 birds.] 

4. Gunn, W. W. H. 1959. A Day at F lores Morades, no. 5 in the Sounds of Nature series. One 
12-inch 33-3 r.p.m. disc, no. T46558-9. Federation of Ontario Naturalists, Don Mills, 
Ontario, Canada. [31 birds, 1 mammal and 2 insects. Revised and reissued as no. 35.] 

5. Coelho, M. About i960. Hunting all through Brazil (Portuguese). One 12-inch 78 r.p.m. 
disc, no. PR244. Gravacos Electricas, Sao Paulo, Brazil. [Instrumental imitations of about 
12 birds. See Mitchell (1957: 32).] 

6. Zuber, C. i960. Galapagos (French). One 7-inch 45 r.p.m. disc, no EX 253. From La 
Boite a Musique, 133 Boulevard Raspail, Bam, Paris, France. [7 birds and 1 mammal.] 

7. Frisch, J. D. 1961. Songs of the Birds of Brazil (Portuguese). One 12-inch 33-3 r.p.m. disc, 
no. SCLP 10502. SOM, Sao Paulo, Brazil. [33 birds, 2 insects and 1 amphibian.] 

8. Frisch, J. D. 1962. Songs of the Birds of Brazil (Portuguese). One 12-inch 78 r.p.m. disc, 
no. S596. SOM, Sao Paulo, Brazil. [9 birds from the 33 species on no. 7.] 

9. Frisch, J. D. 1962. Songs of Birds of South America (Spanish). One 12-inch 33-3 r.p.m. 
disc, no. LP 040. Copacabana, for El Palacio de la Musica S.A., Venezuela. [34 birds; a 
Spanish version, with changed title, of no. 7.] 

10. Frisch, J. D. 1962. Songs of the Birds of Brazil (Italian). One 12-inch 33-3 r.p.m. disc, no. 
Sabrina SA 10.001. Compagnia Discografica Sabrina, R. Mario Pagano 61, Milan, Italy. 
[34 birds; an Italian version of no. 7]. 

11. Frisch, J. D. 1962. Songs of Birds of Brazil (Esperanto). One 12-inch 33-3 r.p.m. disc, no. 
SCLP 10523. SOM, Sao Paulo, Brazil. [34 birds; an Esperanto version of no. 7.] 

12. Frisch, J. D. 1962. Songs of Birds of South America (Spanish). One 12-inch 33-3 r.p.m. 
disc, no. OL 7012. Opus, Surco Industrias Musicales S.R.L., Argentina. [34 birds; an 
Argentinian version of no. 7.] 

13. Frisch, J. D. 1962. Voices of the Brazilian Jungle (Portuguese). One 12-inch 33-3 r.p.m. 
disc, no. SCLP 105 13, SOM, Sao Paulo, Brazil. [24 birds, 1 mammal, 2 insects and 1 
amphibian.] 

14. Frisch, J. D. 1963. Voices of the Amazon, with the Legendary Song of the Musician Wren 
(Portuguese). One 12-inch 33 -3 r.p.m. disc, no. SCLP 10525. SOM, Sao Paulo, Brazil. [28 
birds, 4 mammals, 1 insect and 2 amphibians.] 

15. Frisch, J. D. 1963. Echoes of the Green Hell (Portuguese). One 12-inch 33-3 r.p.m. disc, 
no. SCLP 10527. SOM, Sao Paulo, Brazil. [20 birds, 4 mammals, 2 reptiles, 1 amphibian, 4 
fish, 6 insects and 1 arachnid.] 

16. Schwartz, P. 1964. Bird Songs from the Tropics, Vol. 1 of Naturale^a Vene^plana. One 12- 
inch 33-3 r.p.m. disc. Instituto Neotropical, Apartado 4640 Chacao, Caracas, Venezuela. [40 
birds.] 

17. Salibi, Dr. Jose, Jr. 1964. The Chestnut-bellied Rice Grosbeak (Portuguese). One 7-inch 
33-3 r.p.m. disc, no. C.S. 70.071. Discos RGE Ltda, Rua Paula Souza 181, 2.0 e 5.0 andares, 
Sao Paulo, Brazil. [One bird in captivity.] 

18. Frisch, J. D. 1964. Songs of Birds of Brazil (Portuguese). One 7-inch 45 r.p.m. disc, no. 
COP 73037. Copacabana, Discos de Radio Triunfo, Lda, Porto, Portugal. [7 birds; a 
Portuguese edition of part of no. 7.] 

19. Frisch, J. D. 1965. Symphony of the Hinterland (Portuguese). One 7-inch 33-3 r.p.m. disc, 
no. 5001. SOM, Sao Paulo, Brazil. [Human musical arrangements intermingled with the 
songs of unnamed Brazilian birds; of little ornithological importance.] 

20. Frisch, J. D. 1965. Symphony of the Dawn (Portuguese). One 7-inch 33-3 r.p.m. disc, no. 
5002. Sabia, SOM, Avenida Casper Libero, 58-12 Andar, Sao Paulo, Brazil. [Human 
musical arrangements intermingled with the songs of unnamed Brazilian birds.] 

21. Frisch, J. D. 1965. Symphonies of the Canaries (Portuguese). One 7-inch 33 -3 r.p.m. disc, 
no. 50.004. SOM, Avenida Casper Libero, 58-12 Andar, Sao Paulo, Brazil. [One captive 
bird with a background of organ music] 

22. Frisch, J. D. 1965. Symphony of the Brazilian Birds (German). One 7-inch 33-3 r.p.m. disc, 
no. 5004. Produced for Varig Airlines by SOM Ind. e Com. S.A., Avenida Casper Libero, 
58-12 Andar, Sao Paulo, Brazil. [Human musical arrangements intermingled with songs of 
unnamed Brazilian birds.] 

23. Frisch, J. D. 1965. Symphony of the Brazilian Birds (Italian). One 7-inch 33-3 r.p.m. disc, 
no. 5005. Produced for Varig Airlines by SOM Ind. e Com. S.A., Avenida Casper Libero, 
58-1 2 Andar, Sao Paulo, Brazil. [Human musical arrangements intermingled with the songs 
of unnamed Brazilian birds.] 

74 



24. Frisch, J. D. 1965. Symphony of the Brazilian Birds (French). One 7-inch 33 -3 r.p.m. disc, 
no. 5006. Produced for Varig Airlines by SOM Ind. e Com. S.A., Avenida Casper Libero, 
58-12 Andar, Sao Paulo, Brazil. [Human musical arrangements intermingled with the songs 
of unnamed Brazilian birds. J 

25. Frisch, J. D. 1965. Symphony of the Brazilian Birds (Portuguese). One 7-inch 33-3 r.p.m. 
disc, no. 5007. Produced by Varig Airlines by SOM Ind. e Com. S.A., Avenida Casper 
Libero, 58-12 Andar, Sao Paulo, Brazil. [Human musical arrangements intermingled with 
songs of unnamed Brazilian birds.] 

26. Frisch, J. D. 1965. Symphony of Brazilian Birds. One 7-inch 33-3 r.p.m. disc, no. 5008. 
Produced for Varig Airlines by SOM Ind. e Com. S.A., Avenida Casper Libero, 58-12 
Andar, Sao Paulo, Brazil. [Human musical arrangements intermingled with songs of 
unnamed Brazilian Birds.] 

27. Frisch, J. D. 1965. Symphony of Brazilian Birds (Japanese). One 7-inch 33-3 r.p.m. disc, 
no. 5010. Produced for Varig Airlines by SOM Ind. e Com. S.A., Avenida Casper Libero, 
58-12 Andar, Sao Paulo, Brazil. [Human musical arrangements intermingled with songs of 
unnamed Brazilian birds.] 

28. Frisch, J. D. 1965. The Legendary Paradise of the Indians (Portuguese). One 12-inch 33-3 
r.p.m. disc, no. SCLP 10.534. SOM, Avenida Casper Libero, 58-12 Andar, Sao Paulo, 
Brazil. [35 birds, 2 mammals, 1 insect and 1 amphibian.] 

29. Frisch, J. D. 1965. Bird Songs of Brazil and Other Jungle I 'oices. One 7-inch 45 r.p.m. disc, 
no. EP 4618. Produced for Varig Airlines by SOM, Ind. e Com. S.A., Avenida Casper 
Libero, 58-12 Andar, Sao Paulo, Brazil. [14 birds, 1 fish, 1 insect and at least 1 amphibian.] 

30. Schwartz, P. 1965. Sounds of the Llanos I. Vol. 2 of Naturale-^a Vene-^plana. One 12-inch 
33-3 r.p.m. disc with descriptive booklet. Instituto Neotropical, Apartado 4640 Chacao, 
Caracas, Venezuela. [68 birds, 5 mammals, 2 amphibians and 1 insect.] 

31. Schwartz, P. 1965. Sounds of the Llanos II. Vol. 3 of Naturale~a I 'ene^plana. One 12-inch 
33-3 r.p.m. disc with descriptive booklet. Instituto Neotropical, Apartado 4640 Chacao, 
Caracas, Venezuela. [About 58 birds, including some 23 not recorded on Vols. 1 and 2.| 

32. Frisch, J. D. 1966. Symphony of the Brazilian Birds (Portuguese). One 12-inch 33-3 r.p.m. 
disc, no. SCLP 10.538. SOM, Ind. e Com. S.A., Avenida Casper Libero, 58-12 Andar, Sao 
Paulo, Brazil. [Human musical arrangements intermingled with songs of unnamed Brazilian 
birds, combining on one 12-inch disc the items appearing on the series of symphonies 
produced in 1965 for Varig Airlines.] 

33. Frisch, J. D. Probably about 1967. Symphony of the Birds. One 12-inch 33-3 r.p.m. stereo 
disc, no. SE4442. MGM Records Division, Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer Inc., 1350 Avenue of 
the Americas, New York City, U.S.A. [An English language version of no. 32.] 

34. Frisch, J. D. Probably about 1967. Christmas Symphony. One 7-inch 33-3 r.p.m. disc, 
no. Sabia Compacto 5014. SOM, Ind. e Com. S.A., Avenida Casper Libero, 58-12 Andar, 
Sao Paulo, Brazil. [Human musical arrangements intermingled with the songs of unnamed 
Brazilian birds.] 

35. Gunn, W. W. H. 1968. A Day at Flores Morades. One 12-inch 33-3 r.p.m. disc, no. 5 in 
Sounds of Nature series, and no. T46558-9. Federation of Ontario Naturalists, Don Mills, 
Ontario, Canada. [31 birds, 1 mammal and 2 insects recorded in Venezuela. A revised and 
corrected edition of no. 4.] 

36. Reynard, G. B. 1969. Caribbean Bird Songs. One 12-inch 33 -3 r.p.m. disc. P. P. Kellogg, 
Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, Ithaca, N.Y., U.S.A. [54 birds recorded in Puerto Rico 
and the Virgin Islands.] 

37. Lindblad, Jan. 1970. In Green Paradise (Swedish). One 12-inch 33-3 r.p.m. disc, no. 
STP LP 102. Bonniers, Sweden. [38 birds, 10 mammals and 1 insect recorded in Guyana.] 

38. Roche, J. C. Probably 1970. The Bird as Musician. No. 7: Rufous-throated Solitaire and 
Bare-eyed Thrush. One 7-inch 45 r.p.m. disc, no. P 039. L'Oiseau Musicien, 04-Aubenas-les- 
Alpes, Haute-Provence, France. Obtainable also from Discourses Ltd., 34 High Street, 
Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, U.K. [2 birds.] 

39. Frisch, J. D. Probably about 1970. Birds, Jungle, Melody (Portuguese). One 12-inch 33-3 
r.p.m. disc, no. SCLP 10543. SOM, Ind. e Com. S.A., Rua Franca Pinto, Sao Paulo, Brazil. 
[Side 1 records unnamed species of the Amazonian forest, species of the central plateau 
and of the southern forest, and one captive bird accompanied by human music. Side 2 
consists of six human musical arrangements intermingled with songs of unnamed Brazilian 
birds.] 

40. Frisch, J. D. Probably about 1971. Sounds of the Trans- Amazonian Highway and Thrush 
Songs (Portuguese). One 12-inch 33-3 r.p.m. stereo disc, SOM, Ind. e Com. S.A., Rua 
Eugenia S. Vitale, 173, Sao Bernardo do Campo (Rudge Ramos), Sao Paulo, Brazil. [Side 1 
consists of 4 bands: the first records dawn sounds in the Amazonian forest, the second 
Indian songs and a flute, the third sounds of nightfall in the forest followed by reveille 
with an army unit, and the fourth sounds and music representing the opening up of the 

75 



backwoods. On Side 2 the songs of five Brazilian thrushes are given at length, but the 
species on Side 1 are not identified by name when they are heard.] 

41. Roche, J. C. 1971. Birds of the West Indies, 1: The Lesser Antilles, from Grenada to Guade- 
loupe (French and English). One 12-inch 33-3 r.p.m. disc, no. G.06. L'Oiseau Musicien, 

04 Aubenas-les-Alpes, Haute-Provence, France. Also obtainable from Discourses Ltd., 
34 High Street, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent. U.K. [More than 13 birds; 4 insects and 3 
amphibians.] 

42. Gibson, D. and others. 1972. Cries of the Wild, authentic nature sounds from the Audubon 
Wildlife Theatre Series. One 12-inch 33-3 r.p.m. disc, no. T-57169. K.E.G. Productions, 
556 Church Street, Toronto, Canada. [Side B, Band 3, running 3 minutes 57 seconds, gives 

5 birds and 1 mammal recorded in Venezuela by W. W. H. Gunn, and an Amazon "atmos- 
phere" recording by L. KofHer.] 

43. Coffey, Ben, B., Jr. and Evans, E. R. Probably 1972. Songs of Mexican Birds. One 3-25 
inch diameter reel of 7 -5 i.p.s. tape. Ben B. Coffey, 672 N. Belvedere, Memphis, Tenn. 
38107, U.S.A. [Over 24 birds, 1 mammal and 1 amphibian.] 

References : 

Boswall, Jeffery. 1964. A discography of Palearctic bird-sound recordings. Brit. Birds 57, 
special supplement: 1-63. 

— 1965. A catalogue of tape and gramophone records of Australasian Region bird-sound. 

Emu 65 : 65-74. 

— 1966. New Palearctic bird-sound recordings in 1964-65. Brit. Birds 59: 27-37. 

— 1969a. New Palearctic bird-sound recordings during 1966-67. Brit. Birds 62: 49-65. 

— 1969b. New Palearctic bird-sound recordings during 1968. Brit. Birds 62: 271-281. 

— 1970. New Palearctic bird-sound recordings during 1969. Brit. Birds 63: 324-332. 

— 1971. New Palearctic bird-sound recordings during 1970. Brit. Birds 64: 431-434. 

— 1973. A discography of bird-sound from the Oriental Zoogeographical Region. Bull. 

Br. Orn. CI. 93: 170-172. 
Boswall, Jeffery & North, Myles, E. W. 1967. A discography of bird-sound from the 

Ethiopian Zoogeographical Region. Ibis 109: 521-533. 
Boswall, Jeffery & Prytherch, Robin, J. 1969. A discography of bird-sound from the 

Antarctic. Polar Record 14(92): 603-612. 
Boswall, Jeffery & Kettle, Ron. In press. A discography of bird-sound from the Nearctic 

Region. 
Burton, John. 1969. Catalogue of Natural History Recordings, BBC. 

— 1 97 1. First Supplement to the 1969 Catalogue of Natural History Recordings, BBC. 

— 1972. Second Supplement to the 1969 Catalogue of Natural History Recordings, BBC. 

— 1973- Third Supplement to the 1969 Catalogue of Natural History Recordings, BBC. 
Mitchell, Margaret, H. 1957. Observations on birds of south-eastern Brazil. University of 

Toronto Press. 
Sellar, Patrick. 1973. New Palearctic bird-sound recordings in 1971-72. Brit. Birds 66: 303- 

310. 
Wyring, C. F., Allen, A. A. & Kellogg, P. P. 1945. Jungle Acoustics. O.S.R.D. Reports 4699 

and 4704, published privately from the Division of Acoustical Research, Rutgers 

University, Brunswick, New Jersey, U.S.A. 



Nearctic waders in Sierra Leone— Lesser Golden Plover 
and Buff-breasted Sandpiper 

by G. D. Field 

Received 19th February, 1974 
There are few records of American waders in tropical Africa but, judging by 
the numbers reported annually from Europe, this must partly reflect lack 
of ornithologists rather than birds. The only records for West Africa given 
by Mackworth-Praed & Grant (1970) are single occurrences of Calidris 
melanotos (Principe Island) and Tringa solitaria (Cabinda). Since then Tringa 
flavipes has occurred at Lagos (Wallace 1969) and Numenius phaeopus hudsonicus 

76 



at Freetown (Sudbury & Field 1972). An example of Pluvialis dominica at 
Lagos (Heigham 1969) was thought to be of the Siberian race, P. d.fulva. 

On the nights of November 3rd and 4th 1973 exceptionally violent storms 
hit Freetown, bringing in their wake the first real rush of land migrants, 
particularly Sylviidae. It is possible that these storms were also responsible 
for the appearance of some scarcer waders, Knot Calidris canutus, first seen 
November 7th, and Oyster-catcher Haematopus osfralegus, first seen November 

i 5 th. 

On the evening of November 6th at high tide J. B. Smart and I noted a 
small group of waders standing on the causeway along the edge of the 
muddy, mangrove-margined Aberdeen Creek at the north-west tip of the 
Freetown Peninsula. Most birds were Charadrius hiaticula and Tringa hypoleucos 
with one Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola and beside it a bird which on its own 
might have been dismissed as P. squatarola but, seen alongside, obvious 
differences in size and stance proclaimed it a 'golden' plover. We were able 
to get to fifteen yards range and note plumage details, later flushing it so that 
the under-wing could be observed. It was located again on November 7th, 
nth and 12th, on the latter two occasions on the mud, extremely tame and 
coming, as the tide rose, to within a few yards of me, associating here with 
Redshanks Tringa totanus and Greenshanks Tringa nebularia, wading up to its 
thighs in the water and eventually flying off solitarily. 

Compared with the Grey Plover this bird was smaller and more delicate 
in all particulars, especially bill, always standing erect instead of in the hun- 
ched attitude typical of the Grey Plover, and in flight its wings were narrower 
and relatively longer, giving a more elegant appearance. Salient points: 
forehead, broad streak over eye, face and neck buff with a dusky patch on ear 
coverts; upperparts streaked and spangled dark and pale (white rather than 
gold); below buff with greyish feather centres on the breast, lower belly 
white. In flight wing dark above with no bar, below at a distance it looked all 
buff; closer, a distinction visible between the greyer axillaries and the palish 
buff rest of wing. It appeared to be a first winter bird, corresponding closely 
to the illustration of the American juvenile depicted on plate 121 (Witherby 
et al. 1940) except that the forehead was buff and the underparts less heavily 
marked. 

On November nth after the plover had flown, while watching the waders 
congregating on a still unflooded patch of mud, I noted a single bird fly in 
and land among a group of Grey and Ringed Plovers. Almost immediately 
the latter took off and flew out to sea, the strange wader accompanying them. 
On the ground it was taller than the Ringed Plovers, though in the air it 
seemed roughly the same size. All I had time to note was dark wings and tail 
with no white, buff below, and yellow legs. Searching on November 12th 
and 13th brought no sign of it, but on November 15 th a very dark wader 
flew from the mangroves and landed on the beach among a group of Sander- 
lings Calidris alba and an Oyster-catcher. Wary at first, it later ignored me 
almost entirely and let me approach to within ten yards, running along the 
tide edge and refusing to fly when I wanted to flush it. Later it flew to open 
sandy grass beside the road and was still there when I left but was not seen 
subsequently. 

As this is the first record for Africa of a Buff-breasted Sandpiper Tryngites 
subruficollis I give a full description : general appearance on the ground, a very 
buff bird with clearly patterned dark and buff upperparts, short black bill and 
yellow legs. It stood much higher than the Sanderlings, thus looking a bigger 

77 



bird, and appeared to be of the general size and height of a Wood Sandpiper 
Tringa glareola. In detail : crown brown-streaked with a darkish streak down 
centre of nape; whole of rest of head, forehead, supercilium, cheeks, neck, 
plain buff, the impression being that the area immediately round the eye was 
paler than the rest. Wings boldly patterned dark and buff, the scapulars 
particularly variegated with dark feather centres and broad buff margins. 
Whole underside pale buff, sides of breast spotted with grey-brown at close 
view; under tail coverts paler. Eye dark, bill black, rather stout and appearing 
slightly down-curved, a little longer than the length of the head. Legs rather 
bright yellow. In flight from above, dark with no discernible wing-bar and 
no white in the tail though this was patterned when spread on landing. 
Underside of wing wholly white, in marked contrast with breast and upper- 
side. Wings rather long and pointed. At rest the bird stood high with a well- 
developed neck. It both walked and ran, feeding at the tide's edge by turning 
over small pieces of stranded seaweed, picking them up in the beak and 
shaking them, often dropping them and giving an exaggerated jump back- 
wards as though in alarm. 

Without access to skins I cannot be categorical about the race of P. 
dominica, but its appearance in conjunction with an undoubted American 
species makes it reasonable to suggest that it too was of American origin, 
the race P. d. dominka. 

References: 

Heigham, J. B. 1969. Birds observed in Victoria Island, Lagos. Bull. Orn. Soc. Nigeria 6 

(No. 24): 109-119. 
Mackworth-Praed, C. W. & Grant, C. H. B. 1970. African handbook of birds. Series III, Vol. 

1. London: Longmans. 
Sudbury, A. & Field, G. 1972. An African record of the Hudsonian Curlew Numenius 

phaeopus hudsonicus Latham. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 92: 148-9. 
Wallace, D. I. M. 1969. Lesser Yellowlegs at Lagos: a species new to Nigeria. Bull. Orn. 

Soc. Nigeria 6 (No. 22): 58. 
Witherby, H. F., et al. 1940. The handbook of British birds 4. London: Witherby. 



The Little Egret Egretta gar^etta in Wallacea 

by C. M. N. White 

Received 26th January, 1974 
Little Egrets have been recorded from at least fifteen islands in Wallacea* 
mainly from Celebes and some adjacent islands and from north and south 
Moluccas. Records from the Lesser Sunda and South West islands are 
scantier. Amadon & Woolfenden (1952: 12-13) refer these records to E. g. 
nigripes with legs and feet concolorous and black, which occurs from Java 
and Borneo to Australia and New Guinea. 

In recent years it has become apparent from ringing recoveries that the 
nominate E. g. gar^etta with yellow feet, breeding in Japan, winters in 
numbers in the Philippine Islands. This indicated that a new examination of 
birds from Wallacea was desirable to ascertain whether any yellow footed 
examples, presumptive migrant gar^etta, occur there. I am grateful to Dr. 
K. C. Parkes for information about his study of Philippine birds which has 
subsequently (1973: 14-15) been published. In addition to yellow footed 
gar^etta, he found evidence of a breeding population in the Philippines with 

78 



greenish yellow feet spotted with black. This he suspected might represent 
a third form, perhaps undescribed. Parkes had seen few breeding specimens 
from the Philippines, but found that Tweeddale and McGregor had given 
descriptions of such birds with spotted feet which were consistent with the 
few specimens he had examined. 

I am also grateful to Dr. G. F. Mees for information and comments about 
specimens in the Leiden Museum. Eleven recently collected and undoubtedly 
breeding birds from Formosa all have black feet as in nigripes. It is thus 
strange that no black footed breeding birds have been found in the Philip- 
pines, and there would seem to be need for more investigation of the foot 
colour of Little Egrets breeding there. This is indicated by the situation in 
Wallacea. 

Most specimens in Leiden are black footed nigripes including one from 
Sangihe, north of Celebes. However, a few from Celebes appear to have had 
the feet blotched black and yellow, much as described by Parkes for Philip- 
pine birds. I also note that Siebers (1930: 211) in recording two examples 
collected by Toxopeus in Buru in May and June 1921 gives the recorded soft 
parts of one as "feet black" and of the other as "feet olive . . . (illegible)." 
Thus one of these birds from Buru probably had spotted feet like the Philip- 
pine birds. It is thus possible that birds with spotted feet may be a phenotype 
which occurs among black footed nigripes rather than a separate geographical 
form. New data on Philippine birds is required to throw light upon the fact 
that a series from Formosa is black footed like most birds from Wallacea 
whilst a few from Wallacea have spotted feet like those so far examined or 
described from the Philippines. On the possibility of some individual 
variation in foot colour, it should be noted that Hue & Etchecopar (1970: 64) 
mention birds with black feet on the south side of the Caspian Sea in the 
range of nominate gar^etta. 

There is evidence that occasional yellow footed migrant gar^etta reach 
Wallacea. One from Menado, north Celebes, and just south of the Philip- 
pines, in the Leiden Museum, collected by F. von Faber and unfortunately 
not dated, seems to be a migrant nominate gangtta. Another possible example 
is one from Ambon collected by Teysmann in 1877 with apparently yellow 
feet, though as it had been mounted there remains the possibility of post- 
mortem changes. 

There remains the question of how far E. gar^etta breeds in Wallacea. 
There seem to be no records of breeding colonies and Australian breeding 
nigripes are known from ringing recoveries to be strongly migratory, reaching 
New Guinea, New Britain and New Zealand. Possibly they also migrate into 
Wallacea. Stresemann (1914: 65) reported small flocks as common in Seran 
in October and November which could have been such migrants, as could 
the two from Buru mentioned above. Such negative evidence is inconclusive 
but there seems to be no evidence that E. gar^etta, E. alba or E. intermedia 
breeds in Wallacea. All three however are known to breed in heronries in 
west Java. 

References : 

Amadon, D. & Woolfenden, G. 1952. Notes on the Mathews Collection of Australian 

birds. The order Ciconiiformes. Amer. Mus. Novit. 1964. 
Hue, F. & Etchecopar, R. D. 1970. Les oiseaux du proche et du moyen Orient. Paris: 

Boubee. 
Parkes, K. C. 1973. Annotated list of the birds of Leyte Island, Philippines. Nemouria 11. 
Siebers, H. C. 1930. Fauna Buruana. Aves. Treubia 8 (suppl.): 165-303. 
Stresemann, E. 1914. Die Vogel von Seran. Nov. Zool. 21: 25-153. 

79 



The relationships of Buettikoforella bivittata: 
some considerations 

by Murray D. Bruce 

Received 13th February, 1974 
Buettikoferella is the only endemic genus of Timor, with one species, B. 
bivittata, considered by Mayr (1944: 171) to be "probably of western origin". 
It was originally described in Napothera and subsequently placed in Drymo- 
cataphus (=Pellomeum) and Dumetia until separated into a monotypic genus in 
1895. The placements did not question its assignment with these Oriental 
timaliines. Mayr {pp. cit.\ 158) pointed out that in addition to resembling 
these genera, it resembled "many of the grass warblers", such as the Austra- 
lasian " Eremiornis, Megalurulus, Cichlornis, and Ortygocichla\ which may be 
timaliine and not sylviine, since suggested with allied groups, e.g. Malurus 
(Harrison & Parker 1965), but other evidence may not support this (Sibley 
1970: 73). 

During a visit to Portuguese Timor, in August 1972, I recorded Buet- 
tikoferella in open scrub and grass areas of the lowlands, singly or in pairs, on 
the ground or perched in low trees and bushes. The flight was short and slow 
with dipping, and slight drooping of the long tail, which, on alighting, was 
raised and lowered a few times. The behaviour of Megalurulus mariei is ap- 
parently similar. It is found singly or in pairs, on the ground, in tall grass and 
undergrowth. Its flight is short and direct with dipping, and the tail is thrown 
slightly from side to side, cf. Warner (1947: 176), who compared it to 
Telmatodytes. Megalurulus shares "a greatly exaggerated tail" with Buettiko- 
ferella and Eremiornis carteri. The latter, of similar habits, has been compared 
with Stipiturus (McGill 1970: 33). 

Cichlornis grosvenori is found on or near the ground in small groups and 
clings vertically to bamboo like a wren. Ortygocichla rubiginosa has similar 
habits, cf. Gilliard & LeCroy (1967: 205), and cocks its tail upright when on 
the ground (R. I. Orenstein pers. comm.). New Zealand's Bowdleri a punctata 
may belong here. I observed it singly in swampy grasslands and it has a weak, 
undulating flight, drooping its long tail, which it flicks when perched on 
grass stems. 

Napothera and Pellorneum include primarily terrestrial species of forested 
areas, e.g. P. capistratum (Smythies 1968: 420). The skulking Dumetia 
hyperythra is found in small flocks in tall grass, undergrowth or on the ground, 
and has been compared with Stachyris (Ali & Ripley 1971 : 180). 

The strong Asiatic element in Timor's oscines, pointing to close affinities 
with timaliine genera for Buettikoferella, may be due to the possible extinction 
of the mountain monsoon forest during the Pleistocene, subsequently 
"reconstituted only recently" (Mayr 1965 : 41). Similarities of Buettikoferella 
with the above 'grass warbler' genera and others, e.g. Graminicola and 
Sphenoeacus, may indicate timaliine affinities of some or all of these genera, or 
may only reflect convergence through similar feeding adaptations. Additional 
observations are needed to determine the extent of possible relationships. 

I am grateful to C. W. Benson and C. M. N. White for comments on an 
earlier draft of this note. 

References : 

Ali, S. & Ripley, S. D. 1971. Handbook of the birds of India and Pakistan 6. London: Oxford 
University Press. 

80 



Gilliard, E. T. & LeCroy, M. 1967. Results of the 1958-1959 Gilliard New Britain Expe- 
dition 4. Annotated list of birds of the Whiteman Mountains, New Britain. Bull. Amer. 
Mus. Nat. Hist. 135: 173-216. 

Harrison, C. J. O. & Parker, S. A. 1965. The behavioural affinities of the blue wrens of 
the genus Malurus. Emu 65 : 103-1 13. 

McGill, A. R. 1970. Australian warblers. Melbourne: Bird Observers' Club. 

Mayr, E. 1944. The birds of Timor and Sumba. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 83: 123-194. 

— 1965. The nature of colonizations in birds, pp. 29-47. In H. G. Baker & G. L. Stebbins 
(eds.). The genetics of colonizing species. London: Academic Press. 

Sibley, C. G. 1970. A comparative study of the egg-white proteins of passerine birds. Bull. 
Peabody Mus. Nat. Hist. 32: 1-131. 

Smythies, B. E. 1968. The birds of Borneo. 2nd ed. London: Oliver & Boyd. 

Warner, D. W. 1947. The ornithology of New Caledonia and the Loyalty Islands. Unpub- 
lished Ph.D. thesis. Cornell University, New York, ix -f 232 pp. 



Species limits and variation of the New World 

Green Herons Butorides virescens and 

Striated Herons B. striatus 

by Robert B. Payne 

Received ) 1 st January, 1974 
The Green Herons Butorides virescens and Striated Herons B. striatus have 
usually been considered to be distinct species (Hellmayr & Conover 1948, 
Eisenmann 1952, Bock 1956, Peters 193 1, Palmer 1962, Wetmore 1965, Slud 
1967), though they have been mentioned as possibly conspecific (Hartert 
1920, Eisenmann 1955, Parkes 1955). The Green Herons of North America 
look different from the Striated Herons of South America (brown-to- 
maroon neck in the former, pale grey neck in the latter), but intermediate 
birds live in a limited area between these in Panama and in the islands off the 
Caribbean coast of South America (Lowe 1907, Van Tyne 1950, Wetmore 
1955). The question whether these herons are conspecific has been difficult 
to answer because of an earlier shortage of specimens (Hellmayr & Conover 
1948: 184) and because wintering northern migrants have not been dis- 
tinguished from local birds. A further question about species limits in the 
genus has arisen with Harris's (1973) report of possible sympatry with 
limited interbreeding of South American B. striatus with the dark Lava 
Herons known as B. sundevalli on the Galapagos Islands. 

As part of a study of heron systematics (Payne ms.), I examined the 837 
New World and about 500 Old World specimens of Butorides available in the 
American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), U.S. National Museum of 
Natural History (NMNH), Field Museum of Natural History (FMNH), and 
University of Michigan Museum of Zoology (UMMZ). I could not differen- 
tiate between first-year and older specimens. Birds in juvenile plumage that 
had not completed most or all of their postjuvenile moult were excluded from 
the colour analysis reported below. Wing lengths (unflattened chord), bill 
lengths (unfeathered base of culmen to the tip), and tarsal lengths were 
recorded to the nearest mm. Colour of plumage on the cheek and neck was 
compared with NMNH specimens selected to represent a smoothly graded 
series of nine colours from grey through brown and maroon (Table 1); these 
specimens were compared directly with specimens in other museums. 

Throughout eastern North America, Green Herons occur with no obvious 
geographic differences in colour or size (Parkes 1955, my observations). 

81 



TABLE i 

Colour reference specimens of Butorides striatus 





iV<?^ ro/o.w 


NMNH cat. no. 


Locality 


I 


grey 


263848 


Venezuela: Culata 


2 


grey, tinge brown 


423096 


Panama: Charco del Toro 


3 


grey, wash brown 


444948 


Panama: Rio Indio 


4 


brownish grey 


4001 1 3 


Panama: Pese, Herrera 


5 


greyish brown 


448634 


Panama: La Jagua 


6 


greyish red-brown 


368472 


Colombia: Guajira 


7 


reddish brown 


206343 


Panama: Rio Indio 


8 


purplish brown 


316840 


Cocos Island 


9 


dark purplish brown 


468699 


Panama: Almirante 



Green Herons in southwestern North America are larger and include more 
birds with paler brown necks than in the east (Fig. I). Overlap in size is little; 
informed ringers could distinguish nearly all individuals in areas where both 
might winter together, and on this criterion I recognize the western form as 
a subspecies {anthony'i) distinct from the eastern birds (virescens). Birds of Baja 
California south of 27 latitude are all very dark-necked, more purplish than 
brown, and are a distinctive subspecies (fra^ari). In Mexico, little colour 
variation occurs but wing length varies from 167 to 190 within Tamaulipas 
(considering only "summering" birds, taken between 1 May and 30 Septem- 
ber, thereby hopefully excluding any "wintering" birds from more northern 
populations). Birds of Central America from Guatemala through El Salvador 
and Costa Rica average smaller than the North American sample from Michi- 
gan but considerable overlap occurs in wing length and no consistent colour 
differences appear. Birds of the West Indies average smaller than the eastern 
North American virescens, but, even excluding all winter birds, some overlap 
occurs with North American birds and considerable overlap with Mexican 
birds. Birds of the Bahama Islands are uniformly smaller and paler than the 
North American birds, and though similar in size and colour to a few birds of 
the Lesser Antilles, nearly all of the Lesser Antilles birds are darker and many 
are larger than the Bahamas birds. The form bahamensis thus appears to be a 
valid subspecies. The 1 1 various other described subspecies from some of the 
islands and from parts of Central America (including 10 names of Ober- 
holser 191 2) are not distinctive. 

In Panama, dark-necked virescens occur both on the Caribbean side in the 
west (Bocas del Toro) and on the Pearl Islands on the Pacific side farther 
east; similar dark birds have been taken on Cocos Island. The Pearl Islands 
birds have been described as a subspecies, but similar birds occur on Swan 
Island in the western Caribbean, on Puerto Rico, and in Mexico (Tamau- 
lipas), all of these in winter. Similar birds are also known from Cuba, the Isle 
of Pines, Quintana Roo, and Florida (Bangs 191 5). It seems unlikely that all 
of these represent birds that dispersed from the Panama Bocas del Toro or 
Pearl Islands population, as the localities are so widespread; probably dark- 
necked herons breed as locally differentiated populations or as dark indi- 
viduals through several parts of the range of the virescens group. For details of 
variation, see Fig. II. 

East of 8i° on the Isthmus of Panama both dark-necked and light-necked 
herons occur, but all of the dark necked herons (colours 7-9) are wintering 
birds and thus all may be migrants from further north. Nests on Barro 
Colorado attributed to B. virescens by earlier workers (in Eisenmann 1952: 12) 

82 



SOUTHWEST 

SO BAJA 
MICHIGAN 

MEXICO 



XX X 

XXX9 9 9 7 X 

9 8 XXX9X X9 X 9 X9X 



8 8 8 8 7 
L ' \ ®® 7»8 8 © 

7 8 8®®8®8®®7 8( 



8 8 8 

Qji ©7(7) 7( 

© © 8® 7 5® HI 



9 5 9 8 7 1 9 8 
95859938593 5 
58852752169225809 5 8 
5533 75928625273995328395887 78 



«> ©@ ©5 56 7®6® 



5 5 6 6 5(6)5(7)7 7 



©888 ©8 

©8 8 7@® 8®© 8 

! 8 ©8 7 8® ®7® 7 

J8 8 8 7® 7@®7 8® 7 8 

8©8 7 ®®©7 7®®7®®<3® 8 7®7 8 8 " 




SS 



® ' 



1 2® ®2 ® 3 5® 



1 2©2 

2 12 1 



150 



170 



WING LENGTH, mm 



CENTRAL AMERICAN 



PANAMA 



BAHAMA ISLANDS 



GREATER ANTILLES 



LESSER ANTILLES 

SOUTH CARIBBEAN 
TRINIDAD 

VENEZUELA 
COLOMBIA 



190 



210 



Figure I. Wing length (mm) and neck colour (cf. Table i, except "5" in Fig. 1= "4" or 
"5" of Table 1) of Butorides striatus populations in the New World (except most of S. 
America). Each number represents one specimen. Circled specimens were taken October to 
April and include wintering migrants as well as residents in winter; uncircled figures 
represent birds taken from May through September and likely to be breeding birds. Note: 
Winter specimens from southwestern U.S., Baja, Panama (see Fig. II), and Colombia 
(except wintering northern migrants) are not circled, and wintering Mexican specimens with 
wing-length larger than 181 mm are not included. For Southwest, C= Chihuahua; for 
Mexico, T=Tamaulipas; for Greater Antilles, PR = Puerto Rico; for Lesser Antilles and 
nearby islands, S = Swan Island, V=St. Vincent; for S. Caribbean, V=Espada, Venezuela, 
C=Guajira, Colombia, A=Aruba, LR = Los Roques, M= Margarita Id., all others = 
Tobago. X indicate a colour darker purple (less brown, more greyish) than colour 9 and is 
characteristic of birds of southern Baja. 



apparently were identified without collecting the breeding birds ; Van Tyne 
(1950) and Wetmore (1965 : 87-88) attribute all breeding birds there to the 
intermediate, brownish-grey population. Birds taken from April through 
September on the Isthmus west of the Canal Zone (many collected recently 
by A. Wetmore) are all intermediate in neck colour between the western 
Panama virescens and South American striatus. The sample from Code, 80 km 
west of the Canal Zone, averages darker than the nonwinter sample from the 
Canal Zone itself (colour scores of 7, 6, 6, 4, 4; vs. scores of 5, 4-5, 4, 3, 3, 3, 
2), suggesting a local cline of colour from western Panama-Cocle-Canal 
Zone-Colombia, and perhaps some genetic introgression. Birds of the Canal 



©,3,®.©,©.®.®,®,®,®,® 

2®3,3.®.@.®,®,®,4_5,©®,®- 




Figure II. Variation in Butorides herons in Panama. Each number represents the neck 
colour of one specimen (cf. Table 1). Circled numbers are winter birds (both residents and 
northern migrants), uncircled figures represent probable breeding residents (all May to 
September). Note that all non-winter birds in central and eastern Panama (including Canal 
Zone) are intermediate in neck score between South American birds (score 1) and western 
Panama birds. 



Zone have sometimes been regarded as specifically different from B. virescens 
and Griscom (1929) described them as a subspecies, B. striatus patens. These 
birds were regarded as specifically distinct from B. virescens also by Wetmore 
(1965) though he doubted the validity of the subspecies as some South 
American birds also have similar brownish-grey cheeks and necks. Hellmayr 
& Conover (1948) came to the same conclusion. Van Tyne (1950: 5) con- 
sidered these intermediate patens birds to be a race o£B. virescens rather than 
B. striatus because the colour of their tarsi were like those of northern 
virescens (greenish) rather than southern striatus (reddish) and the colour of 
the lores was greenish yellow, not blue as reported for striatus by Griscom 
(1929). However, the tarsi of both North American virescens and South 
American striatus change seasonally from yellow or greenish to orange or 
orange-red in the breeding season (Palmer 1 962 : 41 5, Haverschmidt 1 968 : 1 3), 

84 



and the lores at least in virescens then change from "dull yellow lime" to "blue- 
black" (Palmer 1962: 415). No conspicuous colour differences are obvious in 
birds in similar physiological condition. To draw the line between a plumage 
colour of birds that here score 4 or 5 (or 5 or 6) and to call this a species 
difference seems arbitrary, and in fact the variation in plumage colour is 
continuous within these local populations. The Panama birds (excluding 
probable northern migrants) share characters with northern and southern 
birds and appear to be an intermediate population, probably of hybrid origin 
inasmuch as colour is variable within the populations. 

Specimens from Cocos Island are few, and most of them are immatures. 
Slud (1967) describes both B. virescens and B. striatus from the island, the 
latter both the intermediate "patens" birds and birds indistinguishable from 
those of South America. Perhaps the birds of extreme plumage colours are 
nonbreeding migrants. No birds known to be breeding have been collected 
there. 

Interbreeding between northern virescens and southern striatus is also 
indicated by the wide variation in plumage colour in populations on the 
islands off Venezuela and Colombia as well as in coastal populations of these 
countries. Birds of Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, and Los Roques include two 
individuals of intermediate colour as are mainland birds from the northern 
Gulf of Venezuela (Espada and Guajira). Further east, a bird from Margarita 
Island is greyish brown, and the Tobago birds are variable in neck colour 
suggesting genetic recombinations of northern and southern herons. 

Herons of mainland South America include several specimens intermediate 
in colour between northern brown-necked virescens and grey-necked striatus. 
Intermediate birds from Venezuela are from Espada, Caicara, Paria, Cumana, 
Mt. Duida, and 1800' at San Antonio, all but the last two on the Caribbean 
coastal plain. In Colombia, intermediate birds were taken on the Guajira 
Peninsula ("laying" bird of colour 6 at Laguna de Tucacas) and in the drain- 
age basins of the Cauca and Magdalena Rivers, which flow to the Caribbean. 
One bird with colour 4 was taken 500 km upstream from the Cauca mouth, at 
Huila, La Plata. Birds of Trinidad, offshore from the mouth of the Orinoco, 
are mainly grey-plumaged as are most South American birds. Grey-necked 
birds predominate through Colombia except in the Magdalena basin and 
Guajira. Also taken in Venezuela and Colombia were birds as large and 
brown as the North American virescens •; but all of these were in the northern 
winter, and there is no indication of overlap of breeding areas of the dark- 
brown-necked and grey birds in South America. 

Brownish-grey-necked individuals occur through the rest of South 
America as an apparent uncommon colour morph (Table 2). Brownish- 

TABLE 2 



Variation in neck colour of Butorides striatus of South America* 






Colour ol 


plumage on 


neck: 


number of specimens 


Country 


grey grey 


tinge brown 


grey 


wash brown or 


greyish 




(1) 


(2) 


brownish grey (3) (4) 


brown (5) 


Surinam, Cayenne 


2 5 


2 




1 


1 


Brazil 


128 


12 




3 





Ecuador, Peru 


57 


9 




5 





Bolivia 


7 


3 




2 





Paraguay, Uruguay 


20 


3 




1 





Argentina 


21 







1 





* excluding Venezuela and Colombia (see 


Fig. I) 
85 









necked birds comprise nearly a fifth of the sample in Ecuador and Peru, well 
out of the range of the Caribbean drainage region; one with a score of 3 was 
taken at Mocori, Chaco, Argentina. The occurrence of these brownish- 
necked birds in South America does not necessarily indicate recent genetic 
input from the North American populations because the distribution does 
not coincide with the southern extent of the range of the wintering northern 
migrants. Possibly these forms may reflect an earlier contact of the southern 
B. striatus with northern birds, inasmuch as brownish-necked individuals do 
not occur in the populations of B. striatus in Africa through eastern Asia. 
Griscom (1929: 157) and Amadon (1953: 404) doubted that South American 
{striatus) and African (atricapillus) birds could be differentiated. However, in 
addition to the absence of brownish-necked individuals, African birds differ 
in having a more distinct rufous area on the upper breast, lateral to the lower 
neck streaks, and rufous (not grey-brown) lower neck streaks as Hartert 
(1920: 156) noted. Other variation among birds within South America 
includes colour of the belly; some are whitish, others darker grey, and others 
intermediate. The subspecific name "cyanurus" has been applied to southern 
birds, which supposedly have paler underparts. I noted considerable varia- 
tion within all local populations and much overlap in belly colour in birds 
from central Argentina, from northern Argentina and southern Brazil, and 
from the more northern regions in South America, and consider it impossible 
to determine the locality of individuals on the basis of their underparts. No 
significant mean differences in wing length, bill length, and tarsal length 
could be determined among these South American populations, they all 
overlapped considerably. 

The geographic pattern of variation among herons of the Butorides 
virescens-striatus complex indicates that they are conspecific. Both in Panama 
and on the coasts of Caribbean Colombia and Venezuela and their offshore 
islands, a wide range of phenotypes occur intermediate between the maroon- 
brown necks of the northern virescens group and the grey necks of the 
southern striatus group. This variation suggests secondary contact of two 
forms previously isolated geographically that have since interbred. These 
populations, lying mainly between 8° and io° N latitude, are probably 
sedentary and receive limited gene flow from the northern and southern 
populations inasmuch as intermediates outnumbered the extremes in central 
and eastern Panama and on the off-shore Caribbean islands near South 
America. However, the wide range of neck colour and the presence of some 
dark-necked or grey-necked birds suggests some possible limited gene flow 
resulting from immigration, perhaps involving occasional local breeding of 
northern immigrants that may remain on their wintering grounds with the 
local population. The small size of the southern Caribbean birds may reflect 
past inter-breeding of northern South American birds with the small birds 
of the West Indies (cf. Fig. I). Because the birds of Panama and the southern 
Caribbean are variable and combine the differing character states of their 
neighbouring populations, it is unnecessary to recognize any subspecies 
within this region. 

The species name to be used for the combined complex appears to be 
Butorides striatus. Linnaeus described both striatus and virescens in the same 
edition (10th, 1758) on the same page (p. 144) of "Systema Naturae." Parkes 
(1955) suggested that Lowe's 1907 treatment of the form "robinsoni" from 
Margarita Island was the first revision to recognize one of these forms as 
conspecific with the other. Lowe referred to two specimens as " Butorides 

86 



virescens robinsoni" on p. 554 but twice on p. 555 named them "B. robinsoni" 
and he contrasted this form to the South American birds, which he called 
"B. striata." Lowe did not state that striatus was conspecific with virescens, 
though such an act would be required {International Code 1961) for purposes 
of establishing a priority of names. I do not think that Lowe's attempts to 
describe two specimens with reference to no other forms designated more 
specifically than "B. striata" and "B. virescens" constitutes a first revision, as 
the Code Article 24 (a) (i) makes it clear that "The expression 'first reviser' is 
to be rigidly construed." Lowe appeals to have regarded "'robinsoni" itself 
as being as much of a species as he did virescens and striatus. On the other 
hand, Hartert (1 920 : 1 249-1 2 5 1) described and revised the group on a world- 
wide basis; he listed virescens as a subspecies of Butorides striatus (p. 1250). As 
Hartert's usage of B. striatus appears to be the first definite decision that the 
forms were conspecific, the first reviser principle requires that the species 
name to be used is Butorides striatus. 

The Lava Heron of the Galapagos Islands has long been considered a 
species Butorides sundeva/fi, though Hartert (1920: 1250) regarded it as a sub- 
species of B. striatus. "Typical" adult specimens are dark grey, with blue- 
green lanceolate back plumes and a suggestion of pale streaks on the throat; 
the feet are red as in other breeding herons of the complex. Harris (1973: 
267-268) has called attention to the occurrence of B. s. striatus-likc birds on 
the islands and to specimens intermediate in appearance between sundevalli 
and striatus. The 50 specimens I have examined (NMNH, AMNH, FMNH, 
and 8 from the California Academy of Sciences) show all possible intermediate 
plumage colours (Table 3). Most of the paler birds differ from the South 

TABLE 3 

Colour variation in Butorides striatus of the Galapagos Islands 
No. birds Plumage colour 

13 underparts blackish, unstreaked or with white edges of feathers on 

centre of throat. 
13 (4) underparts dark grey, nearly blackish, unstreaked except on throat; or 

throat grey, unstreaked (N = 2). 
11 (1) underparts dark grey, belly lighter grey; sides of neck and cheeks 

blackish to dark grey ; throat streaked with white edges. 
3 (1) underparts grey, darker than South American B. s. striatus; sides of 

neck and cheeks grey, below streaked white and grey-brown to upper 

breast (feathers of midline mainly white). 
2 (2) underparts light grey, like South American B. s. striatus', neck streaked 

white and grey-brown to upper breast; may have some rufous on 

upper breast but most birds have more grey-brown (less rufous) than 

B. s. striatus. 

Numbers in parenthesis are a selected non-random sample of CAS birds. These numbers are 
not included in the first column. All of the plumage colour classes appear to intergrade 
with the next lighter and darker colours. 

American B. s. striatus in having less rusty colour on the upper breast; the 
neck streaks of the Galapagos birds are grey-brown and the sides of the upper 
breast are grey, with no more than a trace of rufous, but otherwise the pale 
birds are inseparable from the South American birds. The difference in 
amount of rusty colour on the neck and breast indicates that the pale birds of 
the Galapagos are mainly local birds, not visitors from the mainland. Both 
the paler and the darker birds are widespread, and both occur together on 

87 



some islands. The high proportion of intermediate birds indicates consider- 
able successful breeding and genetic recombination. Perhaps some differen- 
tiation of the herons occurred on different islands with subsequent inter- 
island reinvasion and interbreeding, or more likely the islands were invaded 
successfully by more than one wave of immigrants from South America in 
the past: either history might account for the variation among the Galapagos 
herons. The Galapagos herons are variable, but nearly all adults are separable 
from adults of the continental populations. The Lava Heron is probably best 
considered a distinct subspecies, B. striatus sundevalli, at least until studies on 
breeding pairs have been made in the islands. 

Acknowledgements : For loaning or providing access to their material I thank 
W. E. Lanyon, J. Farrand, and J. J. Morony (American Museum of Natural 
History), L. C. Binford (California Academy of Sciences), R. L. Zusi (Nation- 
al Museum of Natural History), and M. A. Traylor (Field Museum of Natural 
History). I thank the F. M. Chapman Memorial Fund for support. L. C 
Binford, E. Eisenmann, K. C. Parkes, R. W. Storer, and A. Wetmore read 
the manuscript and offered helpful criticism. The figures were drawn by 
Patricia J. Wynne. 

References : 

Amadon, D. 1953. Avian systematics and evolution in the Gulf of Guinea. Bull. Amer. Mus. 

Nat. Hist. 100: 393-452. 
Bangs, O. 191 5. Notes on dichromatic herons and hawks. Auk 32: 481-484. 
Bock, W. J. 1956. A generic review of the family Ardeidae (Aves). Amer. Mus. Novit. 1779. 
Eisenmann, E. 1952. Annotated list of birds of Barro Colorado Island, Panama Canal Zone. 

Smiths. Misc. Coll. 117(5): 1-62. 
— 1955. The species of Middle American birds. Trans. Linn. Soc. N.Y. 7. 
Griscom, L. 1929. A collection of birds from Cana, Darien. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 69: 147- 

1190. 
Harr s, M. P. 1973. The Galapagos avifauna. Condor 75 : 265-278. 
Hartert, E. 1920. Gattung Butorides Blyth. In Die Vogel der palaarktischen Fauna, 1912-1921, 

vol. 2: 1249-125 1. Berlin: Friedlander. 
Haverschmidt, F. 1968. Birds of Surinam. Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd. 
Hellmayr, C. E. & Conover, B. 1948. Catalogue of birds of the Americas and the adjacent 

islands. Field. Mus. Nat. Hist., Zool. Ser. 13, 1(2). 
Lowe, P. R. 1907. On the birds of Margarita Island, Venezuela. Ibis (9)1 : 547-570. 
Oberholser, H. C. 1912. A revision of the subspecies of the Green Heron [Butorides virescens 

(Linnaeus)]. Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus. 42: 529-577. 
Palmer, R. S. (ed.). 1962. Handbook of North American birds, vol. 1. New Haven, Conn.: 

Yale Univ. Press. 
Parkes, K. C. 1955. Systematic notes on North American birds. 1. The herons and ibises 

(Ciconiiformes). Ann. Carnegie Mus. 33: 287-291. 
Payne, R. B. In ms. Family Ardeidae. In Peters Check-list of birds oj the world, vol. 1, ed. 2. 

Ed. E. Mayr. Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard Univ. Press. 
Peters, J. L. 193 1. Check-list of birds of the world, vol. 1. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. 

Press. 
Slud, P. 1967. The birds of Cocos Island (Costa Rica). Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 134(4): 

261-296. 
Van Tyne, J. 1950. Bird notes from Barro Colorado Island, Canal Zone. Occ. Pap. Mus. 

Zool. Univ. Mich. 525. 
Wetmore, A. 1965. The birds of the Republic of Panama, part 1. Smiths. Misc. Coll. 150. 




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Published by the BRITISH ORNITHOLOGISTS' CLUB and printed by 
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Bulletin of the 



British Ornithologists' Club 



t 



2 6 SEP 1974 




Edited by 
HUGH F. I. ELLIOTT 



Volume 94 No. 3 



September 1 974 



Special General Meeting 

Notice is hereby given that a Special General Meeting of the Club will be 
held at the Cafe Royal, 68 Regent Street, London, W.i. on Tuesday, 19th 
November 1974 at 6 p.m. to consider and if deemed fit to pass the following 
resolution which will be proposed by the Committee as a special resolution 
in the terms of Rule (14) of the Club's rules: — 

"That with effect from 1st January 1975 the annual subscription for members 
shall be £3 • 50 and that Rule (4) shall be amended accordingly". 

By order of the Committee 

RONALD E. F. PEAL 
Honorary Secretary 

Note: Since the annual subscription for members was raised to £2 10s. with 
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Bulletin of the 

BRITISH ORNITHOLOGISTS' CLUB 

Vol. 94 No. 3 Published: 20 September, 1974 

The six hundred and eighty-eighth meeting of the Club was held at the Cafe 
Royal, 68 Regent Street, London, W.i., on Tuesday, 14th May 1974 at 7 p.m. 

Chairman: Mr. Peter Hogg; Present 18 members and eight guests. 

The Speaker was Mr. D. T. Holyoak, who addressed the Club on Orni- 
thological exploration and conservation in the Cook islands. He exhibited 
the skins of seven new forms from the southern Cook Islands, descriptions 
of which will be published shortly. 

The six hundred and eighty-ninth meeting of the Club was held at Imperial 
College, Exhibition Road, London, S.W.7. on Tuesday, 2nd July 1974 at 
6.45 p.m. 

Chairman: Mr. Peter Hogg; Present 16 members and 11 guests. 

Mr. Richard Blindell spoke on his current investigations into waders and 
wildfowl on the Essex coast and in the Thames estuary. After supper he was 
followed by Mr. Ian R. Deans, who addressed the Club on the results to date 
of work he is undertaking on gull ecology in the Thames estuary. 

Duetting in Hypergerus atriceps and its Taxonomic 
relationship to Etninia lepida 

by L. G. Grimes 

INTRODUCTION 

Hypergerus Reichenbach, 1850, Syst. Av., pi. 54 (9), with type by monotypy 
Moho atriceps Lesson, 183 1, Traite Orn., p. 646, is a monotypic genus in the 
Passeriforms of uncertain affinities and so is Eminia Hartlaub, 1881, Proc. 
Zool. Soc. Lond, p. 625, with type by monotypy Eminia lepida Hartlaub with 
the same citation. Recent authorities (White i960, Hall & Moreau 1970) 
hesitantly follow Chapin (1953) in assigning both genera to the warblers 
Sylviidae. Both species are found in similar habitats, Hypergerus in West 
Africa and Eminia in East Africa (White i960), and Chapin found so many 
similarities between the two in the field that he surmised that the nest of 
Hypergerus when found would probably be very similar to that of Eminia 
(Chapin 1953, Van Someren 1956). This has been confirmed by Lang (1969). 

Lanyon (1969) has emphasised that vocal characteristics may reveal close 
relationships between avian species which may not be discernible on the 
basis of morphology alone, and also may enable the recognition of groups of 
allopatric forms that comprise a superspecies. This approach has not been 
applied to species that are both morphologically distinct and allopatric, and 
placed in separate genera. Hypergerus atriceps and Eminia lepida (Hall & 
Moreau 1970) fit this category and if they are more closely related than their 
placement in separate genera suggests, then, following Lanyon's work, one 
might expect to find some similarities in their song structures. 

The present study was stimulated through the review by Thorpe (1972) of 
duetting in birds. This is well known in Eminia (Chapin 1953, Van Someren 



1956). Although Hypergerus duets regularly this has only recently been 
recognised. The occurrence of duetting in both species suggested that 
similarities, if any, in their duet structure might provide evidence for a close 
relationship between them. In this paper the vocal characteristics of the two 
species and their duets are compared and described, that for Hypergerus for 
the first time. Other comparative data on their biology is reviewed to support 
the thesis of this paper that the two species are congeneric. 

MATERIALS AND METHODS 

Two recordings of Hypergerus, involving the same birds, were made on 
28 August 1972 in an area of dry thicket on an inselberg on the Accra Plains 
in southern Ghana. The time length of the recording was four minutes and 
includes 40 duet sequences. A Philips recorder (Model 2204) was used with 
the microphone placed at the focus of a parabola (o-6 m diameter). This 
recording was dubbed at 3-75 in/sec using a Philips recorder (Model 4307) 
on to a master tape which was used for all subsequent analysis with the Kaye 
sonograph in the wide band mode. 

Two recordings of Eminia made by the late M. E. W. North in Kenya 
were obtained from the library of sounds of the Laboratory of Ornithology 
of Cornell University. The first was recorded on 17 and 18 December 1953 
at Gituru (i° 10' S, 3 6° 50' E), and although it is just under seven minutes 
in length only nine duet sequences occur : part of this recording is found on 
the record "Voices of African Birds" (North 1958). The second recording 
of a single male was obtained on 6 September 1963, at Lake Nakuru (o° 15' S, 
3 6° 05' E), and lasts for just over one minute. 

RESULTS 
In both species one bird, presumably the male, dominated the singing and 
always initiated the duet sequences. Although there are marked differences 



5 
H2 4 - 



5 - 

Hz 4 A 



B 



Fig. 1 



v l 



- c 



** 



r^s. 



j, s ^ 






A 



L 



\ 



9O 



Table i. The analysis into phrases of the song of two duet sequences of Hypergerus 
atriceps recorded in southern Ghana. The bar over the syllables indicates the occurrence of 
duetting and the underlined sections have been reproduced as spectograms. 



K D D BAC8AAACBAACBAA 



DUET 
SEQUENCE (I) 



E A C B C D D 



CBAACBCBCBAC OBACBCBCBCDBACDBCB 



I 6 Seel 



CDBCDBACBAACDL 



I 2 2Se 



CBACBCBCODBACD 



F B A A C 



I 4«S«c 



I 1 I I I I I 1 I I 1 I I I 



in the songs of the males, the second component which forms the duet is 
extremely similar in both species and is presumed to be given by the female. 
The song of the male Hypergerus consisted of mixed combinations of song 
phrases (Figure i and Table i) several of which are either slight modifications 
or incomplete forms of others: compare phrases B and N with A, phrases 
D, E and L with C, and I with H. Some phrases occur more frequently than 
others (A, B, C, H, G, and I), and in some sections the song sequence is a 
repetition of one phrase (G, H and I). The major drawback of the presen- 
tation in Table i (and Table 4) is that the time interval between the ending 



Table 2. Typical values of the ratio of the time difference between the ending of a song 
syllable and the beginning of the next to the time difference between notes within the 
syllables of the song of Hypergerus atriceps. The time difference is in mm where 132 mm = 
1 sec. 

Time difference ratio 

16 
16 
20 

19 
16 
16 

19 
22 
12 
14 
13 



Syllable 

A 
B 
C 
D 

E 
F 
G 

H 

I 

J 

K 



12 
12 
15 
15 
14 
18 

13 
21 

1 2 
5 



Fig. 2 



UIHI 



^MMMMMMflflO ^ p> 



5 - 

Hz 4 

1 ; 



MMAMflMMMAIIfl^Q y 



TIME 



91 



Table 3. The maximum trill rates (notes/sec) occurring in four examples of the female 
component of the duets of Hyper gerus atriceps and Eminia lepida. 



MERGER US 


EMINIA 


11 -7 


17 -o 


12-4 


18 -2 


10 -4 


18-3 


11 7 


17-8 



N\\\\\\ 



Fig. 3 



\\\\\\\\\\\\\ 



/ ••••••••••/'•• 



uunnu 



— "inminmtif 

G - H 



WWW 



» * * *%%>*sm* 



\:\\\\ 



\\\ 



1 ////// 



^NWSWW 



M 



A A 




92 



of a phrase and the beginning of the next cannot be represented. For 
Hypergerus these time intervals are only slightly greater than the time intervals 
between the notes in a phrase (Table 2). The result is that to the human ear 
the male song sounds regular and flowing. 

The female component that forms the duet is a trill (Figure 2, Table 3) 
each note of which has a similar frequency/time profile. Generally, there 
is a slight increase in the trilling rate at the beginning of a duet and it then 
either remains constant during the rest of the trill or decreases as the trill 
component ends (Figure 2). 

Only one recorded sequence of Eminia contained a combination of 
different song phrases. The rest were made up of repetitions of the same phrase 
(Figure 3 and Table 4). The time intervals between the song phrases vary 
from one to four seconds or more and are very much greater (approximately 
20 x) than the time intervals between the notes making up each song 
phrase. They are also longer than the lengths of the song phrases. As a result 
the male song is of a much different tempo and rhythm than the song of the 
male Hypergerus. However, the duet component is a trill (Figure 4), and in 
structure and tempo it is remarkably similar to that of Hypergerus (Table 3). 

Table 4. The analysis into phrases of the song of two male Eminia lepida recorded in 
Kenya by the late Mr. Myles-North. The recordings are not continuous and the breaks are 
indicated by the vertical bars. The bar over the syllables indicate the occurrence of duetting 
and the underlined sections have been reproduced as spectograms. Two sections indicated 
( ) have not yet been analysed because of background calls from other species. 

Recording at aA^aIaI | i3 Hfl|jj|cCCc|c i £CCc|lJr>DDDi>|DD ] £DD|EEKEEE| 

Gituru. I . 1 I I 1 _ _ 1 

EEBUES ^Pf??f?t' GGGG.GGGG HH|H HHHHH H 1IHH II I I 

Section from 

record "Voice I 

of African I _I I iJC J J J K LM 1: bj b U 

Birds" ' 

Recording at . 

Lake Nakuru N N N N N N NNNNNNPPPPPPP 



Fig- 4 



uu urn 




TIME 



OTHER COMPARATIVE DATA 

In both species the sexes are alike and the juveniles closely resemble the 
adults, more so in Eminia than Hypergerus. Following Chapin's key for the 
genera in the Sylviidae (Chapin 1953: 241) both birds have similar values 

93 



(°'33 — o-66) for the ratio of the lengths of the two outermost primaries, 
they have a similarly shaped bill without a hooked tip, and both have rela- 
tively long tails. In both species males are larger than females. Details for 
Hypergerus are given in Table 5. Chapin (1953: 308) gives no details for 

Table 5. The physical dimensions (in mm) of Hypergerus and Eminia. The number of 
specimens used are given in brackets after the sex symbol. 







Hypergerus 






Source 


Sex 


Wing 


Tail 


Tarsus 


Bates (1930) 


6* (4) 


84-87 


94-102 


27-30 




$(3) 


77-82 


83-94 




Bannerman (1936) 


6* (5) 


83-88 


91-99 


28-30 




9(8) 


76-82 
Eminia 


81-92 


27-28 


Reichenow (1905) 


? 


65-71 


5 5-65 


23-25 



Eminia but mentions that males are consistently larger than females. The 
measurements for Eminia by Reichenow (1905 : 615) are included in Table 5 
for comparison, but unfortunately he neither includes sample size nor dis- 
tinguishes between the sexes. 

Both species breed in the wet season and both are probably double 
brooded. This is certain for Eminia (Van Someren 1956: 339) but not yet 
certain for Hypergerus ', although the observations of Lang (1969) suggest this. 
Old nests may be reconditioned and used again in both species. 

The clutch size is usually two eggs for Eminia, sometimes three. The two 
clutches known for Hypergerus had two and three eggs respectively. The eggs 
of Eminia are either pure white or pale blue or else have in addition some 
dark purple brown (reddish brown) spots. The two eggs of Hypergerus 
found by Lang (1969) were pale blue with reddish brown spots and blotches 
fairly densely distributed at the blunt end and scattered lightly over the rest 
of the egg. In both species the shape of the eggs is elongated oval ; the ratio 
of length to breadth for Eminia being in the range of 1.44 to 1.59 and for 
Hypergerus 1.48 (only one egg measured). 

The nests of the two species are remarkably alike, both resembling a large 
untidy sunbird nest and are not unlike those of the eurylaemid Smithornis 
capensis (R. K. Brooke in iitt.). The nest site and materials used in construction 
are also similar. The details that follow are taken from Van Someren (1956: 
377) for Eminia and from Lang (1 969 : 1 27) for Hypergerus. In Eminia the nest 
is an oversized untidy sunbird nest and is suspended from the end of a thin 
branch, usually overhanging water or a stream bed or else a small open space. 
The nest has a slight porch and the entrance is on the side near the top. 
Strips of bark fibre, grass and tendrils and long strands of moss make up the 
outside structure of the nest but all are loosely interlocked and the whole is so 
untidy that it looks like a mass of debris caught up on a thorny spray, or a 
collection of flotsam brought down in a flood and caught up by a over- 
hanging branch. Finer fibres are used as a lining and a few feathers may be 
included. 

In Hypergerus both nests were suspended from a hanging tendril overhang- 
ing a stream. The side entrance was situated near the top of the nest and there 
was a slight overhanging porch. Below the chamber of the nest hang an 
untidy mass of ragged grass ends. One of the nests was made entirely of 
fairly broad strips of dry grass which had collected as flotsam. The second 

94 



nest had, in addition, a few pieces of dried plant. Both nests had a lining of 
much finer grass. 

The other genera in the Sylviidae have in general quite different nests and 
there appear to be only two species which have nests bearing any resemblance 
to a sunbird's. The first is Sylvietta virens (Chapin 1953: 257, 258) and the 
second is Apalis pulchra (Chapin 1953: 303). In both cases, however, the 
materials used are different from those used by Eminia and Hypergerus. 

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION 

Hall and Moreau (1970) describe the basic distributional patterns that may 
have given rise to past speciation in African passerines. They further des- 
cribe what they call secondary distributional patterns in order to consider 
the effect of subsequent climatic changes on these species. Their secondary 
pattern relevant to the present discussion is one where the isolated species 
remain so and continue to diverge, even to a level at which they might well 
be classified as separate genera. Such a taxonomic situation could under- 
standably arise when two such isolated species, one say in West Africa and 
the other in East Africa, are collected and described by different people or by 
a person such as Hartlaub who although he described Eminia was more 
familiar with West African birds than East African birds. This is especially 
the case when comparative data are lacking. Hall and Moreau (1970) list five 
examples in which they believe this type of isolation and divergence have 
occurred. These involve the Sunlark and allies (Galerida modesta), the 
Moustached Warbler and allies (Sphenoaecus men/a/is), the Black-headed 
Stream Warbler and allies [Bathmocercus cerviniventris), the Barred Warbler 
and allies {Cameroptera fasciolatd), and the Olive Sunbird and ally {Nectarinia 
olivaced). Such a situation also seems to apply to r/ypergerus and Eminia , first 
collected and described respectively in 1831 and 1881. It appears that J. P. 
Chapin is the only person who has had the opportunity of comparing them 
both in the field. The impression he gained at Lagos, Nigeria, was that 
Hypergerus resembled an overgrown warbler. Although the beak, wings and 
tail were much more elongated in Hypergerus than in Eminia Chapin (1953 : 
309) considered there were many points of similarity but does not list them. 

The similarities between the breeding behaviour of Hypergerus and Eminia, 
especially that of the nest site and structure, are much greater than would be 
expected if they are correctly placed in separate genera. Such similarities are 
rather to be expected between species placed in the same genus. On this 
evidence alone, therefore, there is some justification for recommending that 
they both be placed in one genus. This would appear even more justified now 
that it is known that both species duet and that the form of the "female" 
component in the duet is the same in both species. This approach does as- 
sume that the vocal characteristics being compared remain unchanged. 
Lanyon (1969) found such evidence for this in the dawn songs of the tyrannid 
flycatchers he studied but this is not available in the present study as only two 
species are involved. Nevertheless, it is proposed that Hypergerus a triceps and 
Eminia lepida be considered congeneric and be placed in the genus Hypergerus, 
the senior of the two names. It is also recommended that the vernacular name 
should be the Oriole Warbler adopted by Mackworth Praed & Grant (1973 : 
312). 

SUMMARY 

Hypergerus atriceps and Eminia lepida are placed in monotypic genera in the 
warbler family Sylviidae. They are allopatric species, Hypergerus being found 

95 



in West Africa and Eminia in East Africa. The nest of Hypergerus has recently- 
been described and resembles in every way the nest of Eminia. Their duet 
structures are described and compared. Although the "male" contributions 
are different the "female" components of the duet are very much alike. 
These similarities, taken together with their present-day distributions, sug- 
gest that they had a common original population whose distribution was 
split. The isolates then diverged to produce two species so morphologically 
distinct as to suggest that they should be placed in different genera and even 
different families. 

On the basis of the similarities in their nest, duet structures and some 
morphological proportions it is proposed that they be placed in one genus 
Hypergerus. 

ACK NO WLE DGEMENTS 

I thank Dr. M. Lock, L. Lock and R. K. Brooke for their helpful comments 
at various stages of the writing of this paper. Also I thank D. W. Lamm for 
making it possible for me to obtain the recording of Eminia from Cornell 
University. 

References : 

Bannerman, D. A. 1936. The birds of tropical West Africa. Vol. 4. London: Crown Agents. 
Bates, G. L. 1930. Handbook of the birds of West Africa. London: Bale & Danielsson Ltd. 
Chapin, J. P. 1953. The birds of the Belgian Congo. Vol. 3. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 7 5 A. 
Hall, B. P. & Moreau, R. E. 1970. An atlas of speciation in African passerine birds: London. 
Lang, J. R. 1969. Nest and eggs of the Moho or Oriole Babbler. Bull. Nig. Orn. Soc. 6: 

127-128. 
Lanyon, W. E. 1967. Revision and probable evolution of the Myiarchus flycatchers of the 

West Indies. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 136: 392-370. 
— 1969. Vocal characters and avian systematics. In Bird Vocalisations (Edit. R. A. Hinde). 

Cambridge University Press. 
Mackworth-Praed, C. W. & Grant, C. H. B. 1973. Birds of West Central and Western Africa. 

Vol. 2. London: Longmans. 
North, M. E. W. 1958. Voices of African Birds (Record). Ithaca, New York. 
Reichenow, A. 1905. Die Vogel Afrikas. J. Neumann, Neudamm. 
Thorpe, W. H. 1972. Duetting and antiphonal song in birds: its extent and significance. 

Behaviour Suppl. XVIII Leiden : E. J. Brill. 
Van Someren, V. G. L. 1956. Days with birds: studies of habits of some East African species. 

Chicago: Natural History Museum Press. 
White, C. M. N. i960. A check list of the Ethiopian Muscicapidae (Sylviinae). Part 3. 

Occasional papers of the National Museums of Southern Rhodesia. 26B: 695-738. 

Status of the Great Shearwater in Trinidad, 
West Indies 

by Charles T. Collins <& Elisha S. Tikasingh 

Received 1 yth fanuary, ip/4 
The Great Shearwater Puffinus gravis was first recorded for the island of 
Trinidad by ffrench & ffrench (1965) on the basis of the skull of a bird found 
dead on an east coast beach in July i960. Since this skull could not be found 
at the time of a review of the shearwater records for Trinidad and Tobago 
(Collins 1969) it was felt that some caution should be exercised in including 
the Great Shearwater in the avifauna of Trinidad until more conclusive 
specimen material had been obtained. The preservation of five specimens of 
this species obtained during June 1971 and 1972 now fully confirms the 
occurrence of the Great Shearwater in Trinidad waters. The details are as 
follows. 

96 



On 10 June 1971, an employee of the Trinidad Regional Virus Laboratory 
noticed a large number of dead and dying sea birds on Manzanilla Beach 
on the east coast of Trinidad. Unfortunately these were not reported until 18 
June at which time the junior author went to the scene and obtained two 
birds. One of them was already dead and infested with maggots, while the 
second, although badly weakened, was still alive. These birds were later 
identified by the senior author as Great Shearwaters and subsequently 
prepared as museum specimens, now housed in the collections of the 
Trinidad Regional Virus Laboratory (TRVL 15 891) and the American 
Museum of Natural History, New York (AMNH 804303; formerly TRVL 
15892). At the time these specimens were obtained on 18 June, a rough 
estimate of forty additional dead and decomposing shearwaters, presumably 
all Great Shearwaters, were observed by the junior author on Manzanilla 
Beach. 

During June 1972, three additional specimens of Great Shearwaters were 
obtained from Trinidad beaches. Single dead or dying birds were picked up 
on Matura Beach on 1 June by P. R. Bacon and on 10 June by G. Gibbs. The 
third bird, found on Matura Beach by Bacon on 12 June, was alive but unable 
to fly. These birds were later skinned by Bacon and R. rTrench and sent to 
the senior author for final preparation. Of the three, one specimen (CTC 974) 
has been presented to the collections of the British Museum (Natural History) 
(1 974.2.1) and the remaining two (CTC 975 and 976) have been added to the 
collections of the Trinidad Regional Virus Laboratory and the American 
Museum of Natural History (AMNH 810475). 

Dead and dying Great Shearwaters were also noted on Matura Beach on 
10, 15 and 25 June 1973. Two specimens are preserved in the collections of 
the University of the West Indies, St. Agustine, Trinidad (P. R. Bacon in 
litt.). 

The five specimens from 1971 and 1972 (four males, one female) were in 
fresh, nearly unworn, plumage showing no signs of moult of body or flight 
feathers. All showed a reduced amount of white on the rump and a larger 
brownish patch on the belly as compared with the large AMNH series. The 
reduced rump patch is due to the upper tail coverts being strongly mottled 
with brownish grey and having the white confined to the terminal edges. 

Adult Great Shearwaters leave the breeding colonies in the South Atlantic 
during early April (Rowan 1952) and "winter" in the North Atlantic during 
which time (July-August) the annual moult of flight feathers begins (Palmer 
1962). On the annual northward flight post-breeding adults would be in a 
recognisably worn plumage. Even on the breeding grounds the adults are so 
worn as to appear paler than the fresh plumaged young (Rowan 1952: no). 
Thus it seems reasonable to assume that the fresh plumaged birds recovered 
in Trinidad in June are all young of the year which had only recently left the 
breeding grounds. No mention has been made by previous authors of the 
reduced white on the rump of juveniles although it has been suggested 
(Bannerman 1959) that the belly patch is more prominent in juveniles than in 
adults. Further observations made on the breeding grounds are needed to 
confirm these plumage differences. 

As noted earlier (Collins 1969) the appearance of the Great Shearwater in 
Trinidad waters is not unexpected in that there seems to be a regular north- 
ward movement of this species in the western Atlantic and eastern Caribbean 
(Voous & Wattel 1963; Metcalf 1966; Rowan 1952; Hawkins 1963). More 
recently (19 June 1971) a specimen of this shearwater was obtained further 

97 



to the west in the vicinity of Isla Carenero, Islas Los Roques, Venezuela 
(Phelps 1972). Since only juveniles have been obtained in Trinidad to date it 
suggests a separate migratory route for adults and juveniles as has been 
previously noted for the Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus (Post 1967). 
However, further observations are needed to exclude the possibility that the 
adults which leave the breeding grounds (early April) one or two months 
before the young (mid-May to early June) (Rowan 1952) pass through this 
area at an earlier date. 

Mallophagan ectoparasites were abundant on all specimens and ticks were 
noted in the ear passages of several. The lice from the two 1971 specimens 
were identified by Theresa Clay as Halipeurus gravis Timmermann 1961, 
Trabeculus hexacon sens. lat. (Waterston 1914) both of the family Philopteridae 
and Austromenopon paululun (Kellog & Chapman 1899) of the family Meno- 
ponidae. A single female specimen of a species of Saemundssonia was also 
collected from one bird. The ectoparasites from the later specimens have not 
yet been identified. 

Mass mortalities, particularly of juveniles, similar to that noted on Man- 
zanilla Beach in June 1971, have been previously recorded for this and other 
species of shearwaters. The most recent account is that of Watson (1970) 
documenting the death of hundreds of mainly juvenile Great Shearwaters 
along the east coast of the United States in early June 1969. The causes of 
juvenile mortality are unknown although storms at sea, bacterial or viral 
infections, and the effects of accumulations of organochlorines have all been 
suggested. None of these effects could be implicated as the cause of the deaths 
recorded by Watson (1970). Similarly, only low levels of polychlorinated 
biphenyls were recorded in two of the Great Shearwaters recovered in 
Trinidad in 1972 (Bourne & Bogan 1972) and no arbovirus was isolated from 
a single bird tested in 1971. The ticks recovered from these birds were not 
tested for arboviruses. It should be noted that two of the males obtained in 
1972 weighed 385 and 447 g or 44 to 51 percent of the average weight of 
adult males (Hagen 1952, in Palmer 1962). The birds reported by Watson 
also thin, devoid of fat, and were only about 60 percent of normal adult 
breeding weight. Such low weights are probably associated with the cause of 
death rather than age as young shearwaters outweigh adults as nestlings. The 
actual cause of death however remains a mystery. 

The senior author's field work in Trinidad was supported by grants from 
the Frank M. Chapman Memorial Fund of the American Museum of Natural 
History. Manuscript preparation was aided by a summer faculty fellowship 
from the California State University, Long Beach, Foundation. We are 
grateful to P. Bacon, R. ffrench and G. Gibbs for contributing the 1972 
specimens and their field notes to this study, and to Theresa Clay for identi- 
fying the Mallophaga. 

References : 

Bannerman, D. A. 1959. The birds of the British Isles 8. London: Oliver & Boyd. 

Bourne, W. R. P. & Bogan, J. A. 1972. Polychlorinated biphenyls in North Atlantic 

seabirds. Marine Pollution Bull. 3: 171-175. 
Collins, C. T. 1969. A review of the shearwater records for Trinidad and Tobago, West 

Indies. Ibis 111: 251-253. 
ffrench R. P. & ffrench, M. 1966. Recent records of birds in Trinidad and Tobago. Wilson 

Bull. 78: 5-1 1. 
Hawkins, R. S. 1964. Northward passage of Great Shearwaters in the North Atlantic in 

May 1963. Sea Swallow 16: 64-65. 
Metcalf, W. G. 1966. Observations of migrating Great Shearwaters Puffinus gravis off the 

Brazilian coast. Ibis 108: 138-140. 

98 



Murphy, R. C. 1936. Oceanic Birds of South America. New York: Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 
Palmer, R. S. (ed.) 1962. Handbook of North American Birds 1. New Haven, Conn.: Yale 

University Press. 
Phelps, W. H. Jr. 1972. Adiciones a las listas de aves de Sur America, Brasil y Venezuela y 

notas sobre aves Venezolanas. Bo/. Soc. Vene^. Cienc. Nat. 30: 23-40. 
Post, P. R. 1967. Manx, Audubon's and Little Shearwaters in the northwestern North 

Atlantic. Bird-Banding 38: 278-305. 
Rowan, M. K. 1952. The Greater Shearwater Pnffinus gravis at its breeding grounds. Ibis 

94: 97-121. 
Voous, K. H. & Wattel, J. 1963. Distribution and migration of the Greater Shearwater. 

Ardea 51 : 143-157. 
Watson, G. E. 1970. A shearwater mortality on the Atlantic coast. Atlantic Nat. 25 : 75-80. 



Butastur and Buteo east of Wallace's Line 
by C. M. N. White 

Received jist May, 1974 

Brown & Amadon (1968, Eagles, hi air ks and Falcons of the World: 540) give 
the range of the Rufous-winged Buzzard Eagle Butastur lirenter as extending 
east of Wallace's Line in Indonesia to Celebes, Banggai and Sula Islands. This 
requires amendment. All the evidence indicates that this species is or was 
common in the south west peninsula of Celebes north to its base at Oeroe 
and Palopo (there are eight skins in the Zoological Museum, Bogor, the most 
recent dated 7 November 191 2, according to Lord Medway in litt.), but it is 
not recorded elsewhere in the island. On failing to trace any published 
records from Banggai and Sula, I asked Dr. Amadon why these islands were 
included in the range. He informed me that the source was a manuscript 
prepared by the late Dr. E. Stresemann in anticipation of a new edition of the 
first volume of Peters' Check List of Birds of the World y and that he did not 
know the basis of Stresemann's statement. Stresemann set out the range of 
B. Uventer in 1940 {foam. Ornith.: 477) but does not include these localities. 
Nor does van Bemmel include the species in his list of birds of the Moluccas 
(1948, Treubia, 19: 323-402) which covers Sula but not Banggai. It seems 
certain that the locality Banggai must be an error, for Dr. S. Eck of the 
Staatliches Museum fur Tierkunde, Dresden, who is shortly to publish a 
list of the birds of Peleng and Banggai, has kindly informed me that he knows 
of no record of B. Uventer from these islands. There are no specimens from 
Sula in the American Museum of Natural History, New York (Mrs. M. 
LeCroy in lift.) nor in the Leiden Museum (Dr. G. F. Mees in litt.). J. J. 
Menden collected at Taliaboe in 1938, but his collection, now at the Museum 
of Comparative Zoology, Harvard, does not include this species (Dr. R. A. 
Paynter in litt.). Unless this note elicits new information Sula should therefore 
also be deleted from the range. 

Mentioned by Stresemann (1940) but not by Brown & Amadon (1968) is a 
record from Timor of a specimen of B. Uventer obtained by S. Miiller some- 
time between 1826 and 1 8 3 7. It is an old mounted bird in the Leiden Museum 
and was listed by Schlegel (1862, Mus. Pays Bas, 2, mon. <f, Buteones: 21-22) 
and mentioned by Meyer & Wigglesworth (1898, Birds of Celebes: 49-51). 
There is no record otherwise from either Timor or any other of the Lesser 
Sunda Islands of any Butastur. As Miiller collected in south west Celebes and 
actually obtained B. Uventer there, there is a possibility of an error in labelling 
to account for the Timor record, but Dr. Mees informs me that Miiller's 
localities are usually reliable. Hellmayr (19 14, Die Avifauna von Timor) and 

99 



Mayr (1944, Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist., 83, art. 2) both ignore the Timor 
record. As B. liventer has a peculiarly fragmented distribution, the old record 
from Timor should not be lost sight of although it needs confirmation. 

The Timor record seems inadvertently to have been the basis of citing that 
island in the winter range of the Grey-faced Buzzard Eagle, B. indicus, by 
Vaurie (1965, The Birds of the Palearctic Fauna — Non Passeriformes : 180). 
This species winters in islands east of Wallace's Line but only in the north 
(Talaut, Sangihe, Siao, north Celebes, Morotai, Halmahera, Ternate and 
Western Papuan Islands). 

The Steppe Buzzard, Buteo buteo vulpinus, has once been reported from north 
Celebes, for Meyer & Wiglesworth (1898 : 5 1) under the name B. desertorum 
state that there is a specimen in the Leiden Museum so labelled and collected 
by von Faber in 1883. Stresemann in listing the migrants recorded from 
Celebes (1941 ,]ourn. Ornith.: 69-100) ignores the record, either through over- 
looking it or because he thought it unreliable. Von Faber did collect in 
northern Celebes and Mees (1971, Zool. Meded., 45 : 228) has reported speci- 
mens of B. b. vulpinus in the Leiden Museum from Perak, Malaya and from 
Java, so that a record from Celebes is not impossible. But Dr. Mees kindly 
informs me that there is no such specimen from Celebes in the Leiden 
Museum nor do the records provide any evidence that there ever was one. 
The statement by Meyer & Wiglesworth cannot be accepted. 

The classification of 

Tristram's Storm-petrel Oceanodroma tristrami Salvin 

by W. R. P. Bourne 

Received 16th April, 19J4 
While WagstafTe (1972) performed a useful service in locating and confirming 
the identity of the type of Oceanodroma tristrami, it should perhaps be pointed 
out that he seems to have overlooked a review of this form and its allies by 
Austin (1952). The latter points out that it is a member of a group of four 
very similar large, dark, fork-tailed storm-petrels which replace each other 
in different parts of the Pacific, in which the two occurring over warm water 
have generally brownish plumage and the two occurring over cooler water 
are bluer. He considers that since each shows some distinct character they 
should all be treated as distinct species, including in addition to Tristram's 
Storm-petrel Oceanodroma tristrami (pale wing bar, north-west Pacific), 
Matsudaira's Storm-petrel O. matsudairae (pale primary shafts, west tropical 
Pacific), the Black Storm-petrel O. melania (long tarsus, east tropical Pacific) 
and Markham's Storm-petrel O. markhami (short tarsus, south-east Pacific). 
I have also suggested (in Palmer, 1962) that the extinct large white-rumped 
Guadalupe Storm-petrel Oceanodroma macrodactjla of the north-east Pacific 
may also have belonged to the same group, showing a greater development 
of the tendency to paleness of the rump also seen in O. tristrami, although of 
course like other members of the group it could well have evolved inde- 
pendantly from the main body of smaller storm-petrels. 

References : 

Austin, O. L., Jr. 1952. Notes on some petrels of the North Pacific. Bull. Mus. Comp. 

Zool. Harvard 107 ■: 390-407. 
Palmer, R. S. 1962. Handbook of North American Birds \ Vol. 1, Loons through Flamingoes. 

Yale University Press, New Haven and London. 
WagstafTe, R. 1972. The status oiOceandroma tristrami Salvin. Bull. Brit. Orn. Club 92 : 27-28. 



Rufous-bellied Heron in Kenya 

by Laurence C. Binford <& Dale A. Zimmerman 

Received )rd Aprils 1974 
On 15 th October 1973, we observed and photographed a Rufous-bellied 
Heron Butorides rufiventris (formerly Erythrocnus; see Smithers et al. 1958) at 
the edge of Loginya Swamp in the Amboseli Masai Game Reserve, approxi- 
mately 2 • 5 km southeast of the new Amboseli Lodge along the Ol Tukai- 
Kilaguni road. Colour transparencies (on file in the National Museum, 
Nairobi) were obtained with a 450 mm lens and also through a tripod- 
mounted, X 20 telescope. Although of rather poor quality, these photographs 
are clearly representative of the species. Despite the misleading map in 
Mackworth-Praed & Grant (195 2), B. rufiventris apparently has not heretofore 
been reported from Kenya. Williams (1964) and Forbes- Watson (1971) 
include only Uganda and Tanzania within its East African range. 

The heron was feeding in shallow water between 70 and 80 metres from 
the road, and we observed it for some thirty minutes with the telescope and 
with 8x50 and 8 x 40 binoculars. Twice during this period it flew for very 
short distances, settling again into the shallow water. Feeding nearby were 
Squacco Herons Ardeola ra//oides, Black-winged Stilts Himantopus himantopus, 
Long-toed Lapwings Hemiparra crassirostris, several sandpiper species, and 
some Yellow Wagtails Motacilla flara. 

The Rufous-bellied Heron appeared to be slightly smaller than a Squacco 
Heron and larger, stockier, thicker-necked, and heavier-billed than a Green- 
backed Heron Butorides striatus. Its outline was unique and readily distin- 
guishable from that of the commoner heron species. The crown and sides of 
the head were recorded by us as medium bluish-grey, merging to darker 
slate-grey on the neck and upper back. The lower back was dark brownish- 
grey. The throat and a continuing short streak down the upper neck were 
whitish. The tail, upper tail covers, belly, and at least part of the crissum 
were conspicuously rufous, the tail colour showing especially well in flight. 
There was considerable rufous on the wings as well. 

Soft part colours in this species vary. Jackson (1938) wrote of the adult, 
"Iris bright yellow, bare skin round the eye yellow; bill black, basal half 
yellowish- white; feet dusky yellow". Chapin (1932) recorded a female with 
" . . . orbit greenish yellow; beak black above, changing to greenish yellow 
on the lower part; feet lemon yellow". Our bird exhibited the following 
colours: a narrow line (presumably bare skin) around the top and rear of the 
eye white; bare lores pale yellowish-white; irides pale yellow; bill blackish 
with basal two-thirds of the lower mandible dusky orange-yellow; feet bright 
orange-yellow. 

After leaving the site of this observation and motoring a few hundred 
metres along the marsh edge, we encountered Mr. W. G. Harvey, who 
showed Zimmerman a second Rufous-bellied Heron. It was similarly 
plumaged to the one described above but possessed a more obviously 
streaked foreneck and perhaps a slightly paler dorsum. 

B. rufiventris appears to be uncommon, or rare everywhere in East Africa, 
where the majority of records are from Lake Victoria. The Amboseli Masai 
area, with its marshy expanses, would seem a logical place for wandering 
or migrating individuals to occur. Possibly they have been overlooked 
heretofore. 



References : 

Chapin, J. P. 1932. The birds of the Belgian Congo Part I. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 65 : 

756 pp. 
Forbes- Watson, A. D. 1971. Skeleton checklist of East African birds. Nairobi: Nat. Mus. 

(cyclostyled). 
Jackson, F. C. 1938. The birds of Kenya Colony and the Uganda Protectorate 1. London: Gurney 

& Jackson. 
Mackworth-Praed, C. W. & Grant, C. H. B. 1952. African handbook of birds. Series 1, Vol. 1. 

London: Longmans. 
Smithers, R. H. N. et. al. 1958. Second report of the S.A.O.S. list committee. Ostrich 29: 

23-46. 
Williams, J. G. 1964. A field guide to the birds of East and Central Africa. Boston: Houghton 

Mifflin. 



Geographical variation in iris colour in the 
bulbul Andropadus milanjensis 

by R. J. Dowse tt 

Received 1 jth February \ 1974 
The Stripe-cheeked Bulbul Andropadus milanjensis (Shelley) is a species of the 
montane forests of eastern Africa. It is apparently most closely related to 
Andropadus tephrolaemus (Gray), but in the few localities where the two are 
geographically sympatric milanjensis occurs at a lower altitude than teph- 
rolaemus (C. W. Benson in lift.). Moreover milanjensis may make some seasonal 
movements to lower levels still. In August Benson (1937) found it numerous 
in riparian scrub at 1,370 m in the Misuku Hills in northern Malawi, but not 
at all in the larger areas of forest at 1,830 m. Yet in October I found this 
species in breeding condition and common in the Misuku forests at 1,830 m 
and above. Specimens from Mlanje in southern Malawi were collected by 
Benson (in litt.) from July to September from as low as 760 to 1,220 m. A. 
tephrolaemus is less confined to the forest interior than is milanjensis ', although 
the latter is at times found in very thin riparian growth. A. tephrolaemus is 
often on the edge of high altitude forest, even in isolated trees in adjacent 
grassland. The relationship between these two species is discussed by Hall & 
Moreau (1970). 

Three subspecies of A. milanjensis are recognised by White (1962), and in 
addition Clancey (1969) has described disjunctus from eastern Rhodesia and 
adjacent Mocambique. Most of the Tanganyika-Nyasa montane group is 
occupied by olivaceiceps (Shelley) (type locality: Chiradzulu, southern Malawi). 
This race ranges from Cholo in southern Malawi east of the Shire rift, north- 
westwards to the Rungwe area of south-western Tanzania. It is replaced by 
striifacies (Reichenow & Neumann) (type locality : Marangu in north-eastern 
Tanzania) from the Iringa area, northwards. Within its range olivaceiceps is 
local in distribution, being absent from several montane forests for no 
known reason (see Benson 1953). In north-central Malawi, between Nchisi 
and the eastern escarpment of the Nyika Plateau, there is but one record, a 
specimen collected at Mwanjati on the southern Vipya Plateau (Benson 195 1). 
Although Benson (1953) did not indicate it, he (in litt.) believes the species 
to be absent from the Vipya (see also Benson 1941, Ibis (14)5 : 5 5-Ed.), which 
he knows well, except in the extreme south. It is apparently absent from 
Dedza, Chongoni and Dzalanyama in central Malawi, although present on 
the equally small Chirobwe Mountain (Benson ibid). 



Within the subspecies olivaceiceps the colour of the iris of adults appears to 
be either yellowish (pale) or reddish (dark). Adults collected from Cholo in 
southern Malawi north to Nchisi in central Malawi all have irides described 
by the collectors as a shade of yellow or yellowish-white. On the other hand 
adults from the Nyika Plateau and Misuku Hills in northern Malawi all have 
irides a shade of umber or chestnut. The Table summarises the iris colour 

TABLE 

Iris colour in adult Andropadus milanjensis olivaceiceps 
Area Colour Sample 



Misuku Hills 


pale salmon, brick 


56*6% i? 


Nyika Plateau 


pale reddish brown 


i(J 


Nchisi Mt. 


yellowish, pale yellow 


16", i? 


Chirobwe Mt. 


pale yellow 


i? 


Mangochi Mt. 


yellowish-white, pale yellow 


io6U i? 


Zomba Plateau 


pale yellow 


i? 


Chiradzulu Mt. 


pale yellow 


16* 


Soche Mt. 


pale yellow 


io* 


Cholo Mt. 


naples yellow, yellowish brown 


*<3<3 



recorded for adult specimens in the British Museum at Tring (kindly 
examined for me by C. W. Benson) and of recent specimens collected by me 
for the Livingstone Museum in Zambia. It will be seen that the differences 
demonstrated cannot be sexual; neither can they be seasonal, as shown by 
series collected by me in October from Mangochi Mountain (io, yellow 
irides) and the Misuku Hills (5, near brown irides). 

Specimens from northern Mozambique (Namuli Mountain) and eastern 
Rhodesia (Chirinda, Mt Selinda) have brownish irides. Both populations 
are attached to the nominate race by White (1962), but the Rhodesian birds 
are what Clancey (1969) has called disjunctus. More than 30 disjunctus collected 
by Mr. P. A. Clancey all had umber brown irides (R. K. Brooke in ////.). The 
iris colour of the type specimen of A. milanjensis from Mlanje was not 
recorded by the collector, but two adults and a juvenile from the same area, 
collected by Benson, have irides pale grey. Striifacies from the following 
localities also have the iris recorded as grey on the labels of specimens in the 
British Museum: Chyulu Hills, south-eastern Kenya; Moshi, Kilimanjaro; 
Monduli Mt., northern Tanzania. On the other hand one specimen from this 
last locality has the iris labelled "brown", and one from Kilomeni in the 
North Pare Mts. as "yellow". Hall & Moreau (1970) refer to northern birds 
as having yellow or pale eyes. Unfortunately further specimens labelled with 
iris colour are not available, and the situation in the northern populations 
(i.e. striifacies and olivaceiceps north of the Misuku Hills) requires further 
investigation. Juvenile birds from eastern Rhodesia (Vumba 1) and northern 
Malawi (Mwanjati, southern Vipya 1 ; Nyika 1) have irides respectively 
greyish-brown, brownish-yellow and pale grey-brown. The iris colour of 
adults at Mwanjati on the southern Vipya is not known, but this area is 
between the known extremes of brown (Nyika) and yellow (Nchisi). 

There are no apparent differences in plumage colours between these two 
groups of olivaceiceps. There may be a difference in average size, as suggested 
by the following weights and measurements of my own Mangochi and 
Misuku samples, but further data are required to confirm this : — 



n 


Wing (mm) 


Tail (mm) 


Weight (g) 


Misuku Hills 4 


97-100 (99-0) 


92-94 (93-0) 


40-9-46-5 (44-0) 


Mangochi Mt. 7 


95-101 (97-7) 


85-92(89-3) 


37-0-43-5 (40-0) 



103 



These data are of adult males only, all of which had enlarged testes. 

The existence of two, apparently consistent, iris colour groups within the 
subspecies olivaceiceps suggests that these populations are genetically different. 
Although these differences cannot be noticed in preserved skins they are 
likely to have an important biological basis. A specimen from the type 
locality of olivaceiceps (Chiradzulu) has yellowish irides, and therefore the 
northern populations of brown-eyed birds may need to be recognised as 
subspecifically distinct. But I do not intend at this stage to present a new 
subspecific name. Clearly a detailed study of iris colour throughout the range 
of A. milanjensis will be necessary to determine the significance of the ob- 
served differences. 

Although the Shire rift in southern Malawi restricts the distribution of 
several montane birds, to the extent that Dowsett (1971) has separated the 
mountains east of the rift into a South-eastern montane group, this is not 
the boundary between the two populations of olivaceiceps. However, the 
apparent gap between the two groups occurs at another natural geological 
break: Nchisi Mt. (i3°2 5'S.) and the southern Vipya Plateau (i2°4o'S.) are 
separated by some no km of low country, mostly below 910 m altitude. In 
particular the valleys of the Bua and Dwangwa Rivers are likely to have 
formed effective barriers to montane bird dispersal for a long period in recent 
time. 

Acknowledgements : I am most grateful to C. W. Benson for examining 
specimens at the British Museum, Tring, on my behalf, and to the staff there 
for their usual kind co-operation. My thanks go to R. K. Brooke, P. A. 
Clancey and M. P. Stuart Irwin for useful comments on this problem. 

References : 

Benson, C. W. 1937. Miscellaneous notes on Nyasaland birds. Ibis (14)1: 551-582. 

— 195 1. Breeding and other notes from Nyasaland and the Lundazi District of Northern 
Rhodesia. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harv. 106: 69-114. 

— 1953. A check list of the birds of Nyasaland. Blantyre & Lusaka: Joint Publications 
Bureau. 

Clancey, P. A. 1969. Miscellaneous taxonomic notes on African birds, 27. Durban Mus. 

Novit. 8 (15): 227-274. 
Dowsett, R. J. 1 97 1. The avifauna of the Makutu Plateau, Zambia. Rev. Zool. Bot. Afr. 

84 (3/4): 3 1 2 -3 33- 
Hall, B. P. & Moreau, R. E. 1970. An atlas of speciation in African passerine birds. London: 

Brit. Mus. (Nat. Hist.). 
White, C. M. N. 1962. A revised check list of African shrikes, orioles, drongos etc. Lusaka: Govt. 

Printer. 



The status of the cormorants 

Phalacrocorax carbo lucidus and Phalacrocorax carbo patricki 

by Emil K. Urban <& T. G. Jefford 

Received nth February, 1974 
Cormorants are common along the Kazinga Channel in Uganda's Ruwen- 
zori National Park. Some adults there have black underparts except for white 
which extends from the cheeks and throat along the entire front of the neck 
to the upper breast; this description corresponds to that of P. c. lucidus 
(Lichtenstein), the White-necked Cormorant of sub-Saharan Africa. Also 
occurring along the Kazinga Channel are individuals of P. carbo which have 
the white restricted to the throat while the neck and upper breast are black 

104 



and still others whose feathered parts are wholly black. Black-necked 
individuals with white throats resembling P. c. sinensis (Shaw) were de- 
scribed by Williams (1966) as a distinct subspecies of carbo, P. c. patricki. He 
suggested that the white-necked form of sub-Saharan Africa should therefore 
be known as "Pbalacrocorax lucidus lugubris Ruppell, not P. carbo lugubris" 
(=P. c. lucidus \n White 1965). 

Williams's observations therefore indicate that in the Kazinga Channel 
there are two distinct sympatric species of large cormorants — one with a 
white neck, the other with a black neck. Our observations, however, 
show that there are intermediates of all types between the forms described 
by Williams as patricki and lugubris \ some of these forms are depicted in 
Figure 1 and numbers of birds assigned to four categories based on the extent 
of white plumage from the head towards the belly are given in Table 1. 

\ b c c d 

Figure 1. Several cormorants drawn from 35 mm slides taken at Kazinga Channel, show- 
ing variation in throat and neck plumage from all black to white extending from throat 
along neck onto upper breast. Individuals A, B, C & D are referred to in Table 1 . 

Table i 

Counts of the plumage types of cormorants from the Kazinga Channel, Uganda. Birds with 
black bellies were assigned to the appropriate categories, with the results given in this 
table. Representatives of these categories are shown in Figure 1. Birds with white bellies 
are immature, and were not included. Category: A, no white on throat and neck; B, throat 
and less than \ neck white; C, throat and h to all neck white; and D, white extending be- 
yond neck onto upper breast. 

Category A B C D 

Number of individuals 27 29 45 18 



% of total counted 



15-1 



Williams's assignation of the black-necked birds to P. c. patricki and the 
white-necked birds to P. lucidus lugubris was made because he saw no cor- 
morants with intermediate plumages and because the black-necked birds 
which he collected were in breeding condition. It would be reasonable to 
assume therefore that the patricki birds breed with one another, rather than 
with lucidus birds. However, M. P. L. Fogden (pers. comm.) has since 
observed that at a nesting colony at Lake Murabyo (o°o5'S, 3o°o2'E) within 

105 



the Maramagambo Forest in the Ruwenzori National Park, the black-necked 
and white-necked birds pair without any apparent regard to the amount of 
white on the neck of the partner. 

Cormorants with various amounts of black and white plumage on the 
neck have been reported from other parts of eastern Africa. Chapin (1932) 
reported that some specimens of P. carbo from eastern Zaire and Lake 
Victoria (Bukoba, Tanzania) have white more restricted to the upper fore- 
neck than does typical lucidus. Reichenow (1892a, 1892b) described a specimen 
from Bukoba as P. gutturalis, now synonymous with P. carbo (Sharpe & 
Ogilvie-Grant 1898; Peters 193 1), whose neck colour is white mixed with 
black which extends only to the black upper breast. On 3 1 July 1970 we saw a 
nesting adult at Lake Abiata, Ethiopia, whose throat, cheeks and upper third 
of the neck were white while the lower two-thirds of the neck were black 
necked with a few white spots. A. Kortlandt (pers. comm.) has seen P. carbo 
at a breeding colony near Bukavu on Lake Kivu (Zaire) with neck colours 
either black or white. Lippens (1938) reported P. carbo at Lake Edward 
(now Idi Amin Dada) in Zaire, with neck colours varying from all white to 
all black, with white in the latter restricted to the throat. At Ishango, where 
the Semliki River drains from Lake Edward, both black-necked and white- 
necked forms are present, but the former are in a pronounced majority (K. 
Curry-Lindahl pers. comm.; see also Curry-Lindahl 1961: 146-149). 

Thus, the cheek, throat and neck plumage of P. carbo in parts of eastern 
Africa may vary from individual to individual, ranging from all black to all 
white. Apart from the estimate given in Table 1 , we are not aware of any 
figures from which the proportions of the various forms in different popula- 
tions can be estimated nor if proportions within the populations are in 
equilibrium or are changing. However, it may be stated that the black- 
necked form is centred in western Uganda and eastern Zaire, although the 
white-necked form always seems to be present as well, and that the amount of 
black in forms with black and white becomes progressively less the farther 
individuals are found from this part of Africa. 

We suggest that the black/white-necked cormorants in eastern Africa 
represent variations in plumage within a single species, P. carbo {lucidus), and 
not two species, P. lucidus (lugubris) and P. carbo (patricki), as proposed by 
Williams (1966). We do so because of the following reasons: (1) we know of 
no evidence of any "pure" breeding populations of patricki\ (2) where 
black-necked and white-necked forms occur together, there is a whole 
series of variants from those with all black necks through various inter- 
mediate stages to all white necks; (3) in entirely white-necked forms, even 
when there are no black-necked forms present, there is variation in the 
amount of white which extends toward the black belly; (4) rare individuals 
with partly black necks occur in breeding populations of P. carbo lucidus as 
far away as Ethiopia; and (5) variation in plumage within a species is not 
uncommon in the genus Phalacrocorax. For example, in New Zealand 
Phalacrocorax melanoleucos (Vieillot) 1 has mixed forms at the breeding colony, 
varying from birds with a black under surface to those with a white one 
(Oliver 1955). A similar situation occurs in P. carunculatus chalconotus (G. R. 
Gray) 1 in that breeding populations in New Zealand and associated islands 
have 'two distinct colour phases' (Oliver 195 5). The variation in plumage of 
the New Zealand and the eastern African cormorants indicates that at times 
it is no simple matter to separate species within the genus Phalacrocorax. 

1 See footnote at end of text. 
106 



The nature of the selective pressures which might establish and affect these 
variants in eastern African cormorants is obscure. Interesting questions arise. 
For example, a variety of birds which prey on aquatic animals, e.g. fulmars, 
boobies, herons, egrets and skuas, exhibit light and dark phases; the main- 
tenance of these different forms has been ascribed to different efficiency in 
different feeding situations (Simmons 1972). Is this also a factor in the case of 
black/white-necked cormorants of eastern Africa ? Also, why are the black- 
necked forms concentrated largely in western Uganda and eastern Zaire ? Is 
this darker stock a relic of colder, wetter periods in the past when carbo in 
Africa may have been like the black-necked populations of carbo in the 
Palearctic of today? Furthermore, why do most carbo in sub-Saharan Africa 
today have white necks? Did possession of white plumage on the neck 
evolve largely as an advantageous response to heat stress at the nesting 
colonies as our studies in Ethiopia suggest (Jefford & Urban in prep.) ? 

It is clear that the resolution of these questions requires much more 
detailed data on the distribution of the various forms and on their juvenile 
and breeding plumages, and the correlation of these data with environmental 
factors and the biology of the birds. It seems equally clear to us that based 
on such information as is now available, there is no justification for removing 
lucidus from the species P. carbo nor for describing the black-necked form as 
the subspecies patricki. 

We acknowledge with thanks the financial support of African Wildlife 
Leadership Foundation, Haile Sellassie I University, National Geographic 
Society and University of Miami's Department of Biology and Maytag 
Chair of Ornithology. We are most grateful to the Chapman Fund of the 
American Museum of Natural History for financial support which enabled 
the second author to observe cormorants in the Kazinga Channel and sur- 
rounding areas, to the National Research Council of Uganda for permission 
to do so, and to Dr. S. K. Eltringham, Dr. D. E. Pomeroy, and many mem- 
bers of the Uganda National Parks for much assistance in Uganda. 



1 We follow Peters's (1931) specific and subspecific classification in which the species 
melanoleucos is divided into two subspecies, melanolencos melanoleucos and melanoleucos 
brevirostris (Gould). Oliver (1955) however lists melanoleucos and brevirostris as separate 
species or in his words 'semispecies'. Also he separates Peters's (193 1) P. carunailatus 
chalconotits into two forms or 'semispecies', P. huttoni and P. cbalconotus. 



References : 

Chapin, J. P. 1932. The birds of the Belgian Congo. Part I. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 
65: 756 pp. 

Curry-Lindahl, K. 1961. Contribution a r etude des vertebres terrestres en Afrique tropicale. 
Exploration du Pare National Albert et du Pare National de la Kagera. Fasc. 1. Inst. Pares 
Nat. du Congo Beige et du Ruanda-Urundi. 

Lippens, L. 1938. Les oiseaux aquatiques du Kivu. Le Gerfaut 28: 1-196. 

Oliver, W. R. B. 1955. New Zealand birds, 2nd ed. Wellington, N.Z.: A. H. & A. W. Reed. 

Peters, J. L. 193 1. Cheek-list 0/ birds of the world. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. 

Reichenow, A. 1892a. Zur Vogelfauna des Victoria Njansa. Journ. Ornith. 40: 1-60. 

— 1892b. Bericht liber die Dezember-Sitzung. Journ. Ornith. 40: 129-134. 

Sharps, R. B. & Ogilvie-Grant, W. R. 1898. Catalogue of the birds in the British Museum 26. 
London: Brit. Mus. (Nat. Hist.). 

Simmons, K. E. L. 1972. Some adaptive features of seabird plumage types. Brit. Birds 65 : 
465-479, 510-521. 

White, C. M. N. 1965. A revised cheek list of African non-passerine birds. Lusaka: Govern- 
ment Printer. 

Williams, J. G. 1966. A new cormorant from Uganda. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 86: 48-50. 

107 



Relative Biomass of Ethiopian and 
Palaearctic Passerines in West Kenya Habitats 

by Peter L. Br it ton 

Received ph February, 1974 
The problem of the accommodation in Africa of vast numbers of migrants 
from the Palearctic region has attracted considerable attention during the last 
two decades, mainly through work and stimulus of the late R. E. Moreau. 
The various carefully considered estimates given by Moreau (1972) for the 
total mean number of migrants supported by sub-Saharan Africa range from 
1600 millions to 3750 millions. Impressive though these figures are, they 
represent only one or two birds per hectare in the approximately 20 million 
km 2 involved, assuming a uniform distribution throughout the reception 
area. It is now well known that African evergreen forest (except the edges) 
and montane areas are mainly avoided by migrants, so that favoured habitats 
would be expected to contain a far greater density; and the geographical 
distribution of migrants in Africa is far from uniform, with the northern 
tropics receiving far more species than areas further south. Pearson (1972) 
found as many as 75 wintering Palearctic passerines per hectare in lake side 
vegetation near Kampala, southern Uganda, but as few as 2 - 5 birds per 
hectare in cultivated bush away from the lake. Morel (1968) estimated only 
one or two wintering Palearctic passerines per hectare in Senegal thornbush. 

Moreau (1972) has shown that about 20 per cent of the African non-forest 
avifauna consists of immigrant species. Bearing in mind that there are 
virtually no granivorous species involved in the immigrant avifauna, the 
figure is increased, for example to 26 per cent of the non-granivorous, non- 
forest avifauna in the northern tropics. The data in Morel (1968), for Senegal, 
yield a still higher figure, with 3 5 per cent of all species in his study area of 
Palaearctic origin. Such an analysis by species is far from satisfactory in 
assessing the impact of the immigrant avifauna, and Moreau had to admit 
that "of the comparative numbers of individuals we know nothing". And 
referring to the figure of 26 per cent above: "with no knowledge of the 
number of individuals involved it would of course not be justifiable to 
conclude that in this part of Africa one quarter of the food available other 
than grain is diverted to the migrants". 

As residents of western Kenya from September 1968 to December 1972, 
my wife and I netted and ringed large numbers of birds in various west 
Kenya habitats. Some of these data permit valid estimates to be made of the 
relative numbers of Ethiopian and Palaearctic passerines. Data from netting 
are preferred to visual counts, since estimates are more objective and avoid 
the conspicuousness factor. Naturally, some species avoid capture more 
readily than others, and species which normally forage more than about 3 m 
from the ground are seldom captured. In forest habitats it is evident that only 
forest undergrowth birds are sampled using this technique, but this is not a 
serious problem in the other habitats discussed, there being comparatively 
little vegetation above net height. A large number of Palaearctic passerines 
are ringed annually in East Africa, but most are captured in such a way that 
no useful comparisons with Ethiopian species can be made. In the main, sites 
known to be especially prolific in migrant species at a particular time are 
worked, but there is virtually no netting between May and August. For valid 
comparisons there must be no such Palaearctic bias. 

Between September 1971 and November 1972, a census was conducted in 

108 



four habitats in Siaya District, Central Nyanza, mainly using mist-nets, but 
also counting birds present in the study plot. One visit a month over the 
fifteen-month period was made to each plot. The same nets were set in the 
same sites within each plot on each visit, and were set for the first four hours 
of daylight each time. All mornings were calm, and dry so that any variation 
in totals captured as a result of varying weather conditions was minimal. 
With nets set only once in a month, net shyness did not apparently reduce 
totals (see Table i). Three of the plots were one hectare in size, but the more 
open acacia area was two hectares. The quantity of netting used in each area 
was the same (300ft., ca.cjom). Table 1 shows monthly passerine captures; 
Table 2 shows the totals of species recorded during the study period, 
visually or otherwise; Table 3 shows passerine captures in October-Novem- 
ber, when Palaearctic migrants were on southward passage; and Table 4 
shows winter data, for December-January only, including data from forest 
areas (see below). Granivorous species (taken to include all Fringillidae, 
Estrildidae, Ploceidae) are excluded from Tables 3 and 4. Biomass data are 
based on individual weights of all birds caught, recorded on Pesola spring 
balances. Drawing on the census results two longer papers are in preparation 
on detailed aspects of the papyrus and savanna avifaunas. 

It is evident from Tables 1-4 that, of the four habitats worked, the thicket 
and acacia habitats are the most important for Palaearctic migrants. But even 
here, counts or estimates of Palaearctic passerines per hectare, aerial feeders 
excluded, never exceeded 30 birds at times of passage, 15 birds in winter. 
Large stands of Cyperus papryrus form a remarkably homogenous habitat 
with a highly specialized resident avifauna and an extremely low avian 
species diversity index (Britton in prep.). Palaearctic species feed along the 
edges but hardly penetrate the interior. The six birds netted in papyrus in 
December 1971 were feeding in an area which had been cleared and planted 
with cabbages during an exceptionally dry period. These figures are atypical 
and are excluded from Table 4, in which only three of the study plots are 
included. The habitat termed cultivation in Tables 1-4 is a heterogeneous 
habitat, which includes overgrown farmland, remnant thicket and streamside 
vegetation. It is especially rich in granivorous species. The two habitats 
favoured by Palaearctic species are: 

(a) thicket, mainly secondary growth but impenetrable, including about 
30 per cent introduced Lantana camara, intermixed with indigenous vege- 
tation; altitude 1450 m. Eighty per cent of vegetation is 3-4 m high with 
only occasional trees as high as 6 m. Apart from the Lantana, dominants are 
Vangueria acuti/oba, Combretum molle, C. binderianum, Albi-^ja coriaria, Bridelia 
micrantha, Vitex doniana. V. fischeri, and others. 

(b) well-grazed, seasonally inundated Acacia seyal savanna, altitude 1 200 m. 
Trees up to 4- 5 m but seldom taller than 2 • 5 m, with a density ranging from 
about 35 to 65 trees per 1000 m 2 . 

Moreau (1970) and Pearson (1972) have mentioned the importance of 
introduced Lantana berries as a food for Palaearctic migrants in Africa, in 
particular for the Garden Warbler Sylvia borin. During October and Novem- 
ber, 60 per cent of non-granivorous birds (50 per cent of biomass) in the 
thicket plot were of Palaearctic origin (see Table 3). Virtually all were S. 
borin and their faeces contained little else except Lantana berries. In December 
and January the percentage of Palaearctic birds was reduced to 27 per cent 
(25 per cent of biomass), also mainly S. borin (Table 4). December-January 
figures for other habitats, including forest undergrowth, range from 2 to 19 
per cent of individuals, 1 to 1 1 per cent of biomass (Table 4). 

109 



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Acacia sejal savanna is an important habitat for passage migrants but it 
provides regular winter quarters for only the Whinchat Saxicola rubetra (one 
or two per hectare). October-November figures for this habitat in Table 3 
are inflated by a large catch of aerial feeding Swallows Hirundo rustica and 
Sand Martins Riparia riparia, so that Palaearctic species account for 52 per 
cent of non-granivorous birds (44 per cent of biomass). Concentrations of 
feeding hirundines are not normally found in this plot, but even in their 
absence the percentage of Palaearctic birds caught can be large when a "fall" 
of migrants is involved. For example, morning catches were made in this 
habitat, but outside the study plot, on 9th November 1969 and 22nd March 
1 97 1 : of 27 non-granivorous passerines caught on the first date, 16 were of 
Palaearctic origin (1 1 species), forming 59 per cent of the total (46 per cent of 
biomass); and of 9 non-granivorous passerines caught on the last date, 7 were 
of Palaearctic origin (5 species), forming 78 per cent of the total (83 per cent 
of biomass). These figures contrast with only 4 per cent of the October- 
November catch in papyrus only 1 km away (Table 3). Yet, considering 
species rather than individuals, the papyrus plot has the highest percentage 
of Palaearctic birds (Table 2). 

Data from other habitats were collected in a less systematic manner, 
without any special effort to catch Palaearctic birds. Table 4 includes data 
from Kakamega Forest, 50 km east of the study area, and from three sites on 
Mt. Elgon, 150 km north of the study area. Nets at Kakamega were set along 
forest paths and captures do not include any edge element, but Elgon sites 

TABLE 2 
Totals of passerine species recorded in four Central Nyanza study plots in fifteen monthly 















Palaearctic 
species as % 














of non- 








Non-granivorous 


Palaearctic 


granivorous 




All 


species 




species 


species 


species 


Thicket (area 1 ha) 




48 




39 


9 


23 


Acacia (2 ha) 




64 




43 


11 


26 


Cultivation (1 ha) 




71 




42 


8 


19 


Papyrus (1 ha) 




48 




30 


9 


30 



TABLE 3 
Palaearctic passerine captures on four Central Nyanza study plots in October-November 

Thicket Acacia Cultivation Papyrus Total 



Hirundo rustica 




15 






15 


Riparia riparia 




8 






8 


Motacilla flava 






1 




1 


Muscicapa striata 




1 






1 


Ficedula albicollis 


1 








1 


Laniiis cristatus 




3 






3 


Saxicola rubetra 




4 






4 


Sylvia borin 


2 7 


2 


8 


1 


38 


S. atricapilla 


1 








1 


Acrocephalus scirpaceus 






1 


1 


2 


Phylloscopus trochilus 




1 






1 


Total of Palaearctic birds 


29 


34 


10 


2 


75 


Total of non-granivorous birds 


48 


66 


39 


50 




Biomass (g) of Palaearctic birds 


535 


578 


178 


30 




Biomass (g) of non-granivorous 












birds 


1062 


1291 


903 


829 




Palaearctic birds as % of total 


60 


5 2 


26 


4 




Palaearctic biomass as % of total 


50 


44 
in 


20 


4 





were often at the edge. The number of Palaearctic birds at Kakamega (2 per 
cent) would certainly increase if edge areas were worked ; but it is doubtful 
whether figures would be as high as on Mt. Elgon at much higher altitudes 
(10-12 per cent). Forest undergrowth above about 1500 m provides winter 
quarters for only the Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla, which accounts for virtually 
the whole Palaearctic catch in these areas. 

Lake Nakuru in Kenya's Rift Valley, some 150 km south-east of the study 
area, provides a further comparison. The data in Table 5 refer to December 
1968 when the lake level was high. Nets were set for thirteen days at the lake 
edge, in sedges and grassland with scattered small acacia trees, and were 
hardly closed except at night. Hirundines formed 8 1 per cent of the total 
passerine catch, and two species of Palaearctic hirundines alone formed 49 



TABLE 4 

West Kenya habitats as winter quarters for Palaearctic passerines, December-January 

data only 

Thicket Acacia Cultivation Kakamega 

forest 



(1700m) 
3 



Mt. Elgon forest 
2400m 2500m zi 



8 



4 


3 


21 


146 


56 


57 


651 


4022 


19 


2 


9 


1 



10 


5 


20 


100 


47 


161 


156 


86 


37i 


2099 


986 


3652 


10 


11 


12 


7 


9 


10 



Sylvia borin 7 

S. atricapilla 

A.crocephalus palustris 

A., schoenobaenus 

Phylloscopus trochilus 

Saxicola rubetra 4 

Phoenicurus phoenicurus 1 

Motacilla flava 1 

Total of Palaearctic 

birds 8 5 

Total of non- 

granivorous birds 30 27 

Biomass (g) of 

Palaearctic birds 149 78 

Biomass (g) of non- 

granivorous birds 602 729 

Palaearctic birds as 

% of total 27 18 

Palaearctic biomass 

as % of total 25 11 

TABLE 5 
Lake edge at Nakuru as a winter habitat for Palaearctic passerines December 1968 data only. 

Palaearctic species No. Biomass (g) 

Hirundo rustica 235 4J5 1 

Riparia riparia 49 614 

Moticilla flava 5 8 947 

Phylloscopus trochilus 6 50 

Lanius cristatus 3 76 

Muscicapa striata 1 14 

Acrocephalus schoenobaenus 1 11 

Total 353 5863 

Ethiopian species 

Riparia paludicola 184 1806 

Other non-granivorous species 43 959 

Total 227 2765 

Palaearctic birds as % of total • 60 68 

Palaearctic hirundines as % of total 49 55 

Riparia paludicola as % of total 32 21 

Hirundines as % of total 81 76 

Palaearctic hirundines as % of hirundines 61 73 



per cent of the catch. Palaearctic passerines as a whole formed 60 per cent of 
the catch (68 per cent of biomass). The vast majority of these Palaearctic 
birds were either Swallows, Sand Martins or Yellow Wagtails Motacilla flava, 
probably mainly wintering birds. As such, these figures are remarkably high, 
especially bearing in mind that figures for non-passerines (mainly waders) 
would likely show a far greater percentage of Palaearctic individuals. 

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS 

Moreau (1972) has shown that about 20 per cent of the African non-forest 
avifauna consists of Palaearctic immigrant species, but there is no estimate 
available of the comparative numbers of individuals. Data obtained from 
systematic netting in various west Kenya habitats permit valid estimates to 
be made. Only non-granivorous passerines are considered. 

During the passage months of October and November, Palaearctic 
passerines (mainly Sylvia boriti) constitute 5 o per cent of the avian biomass in 
Lantana thickets ; and the percentage (various species) may be still greater in 
Acacia seyal savanna, though on average it is much less if aerial feeding 
hirundines are excluded. In overgrown cultivation the figure is 20 per cent, 
and in papyrus swamp only 4 per cent. Considering species only, papyrus has 
the greatest proportion of Palaearctic birds (30 per cent), which illustrates 
how misleading figures based on species rather than individuals can be in 
assessing the impact of the immigrant avifauna. 

As a wintering area, Lantana thickets are again important, with Palaearctic 
species accounting for 25 per cent of the avian biomass, against figures of 
1 — 1 1 per cent in other habitats, including forest undergrowth. Away from 
the edges, forest undergrowth and papyrus swamp provide haven for 
virtually no Palaearctic birds. The further inevitable destruction and frag- 
mentation of forest and swamp habitats will increase the feeding oppor- 
tunities for Palaearctic migrants, and favour the further dissemination of 
obnoxious plants like Lantana camara. 

A sample from Lake Nakuru in December 1968 is included, taken when 
the lake level was high, and assumed to refer to wintering birds. In lake edge 
sedges and grassland, Palaearctic species accounted for 68 per cent of the 
avian biomass, almost entirely Hirundo rustica, Riparia riparia and Motacilla 
flava. 

References : 

Moreau, R. E. 1970. Changes in Africa as a wintering area for Palaearctic birds. Bird Study 

17: 95-104. 
— 1972. The Palaearctic- African bird migration systems. London & New York: Academic 

Press. 
Morel, G. 1968. Contribution a la synecologie des oiseaux du Sahel senegalais. Mem. 

O.R.S.T.R.O.M. 29. 
Pearson, D. J. 1972. The wintering and migration of Palaearctic passerines at Kampala, 

southern Uganda. Ibis 114: 43-60. 

On the validity and range of hamprotornis 
corruscus mandanus Van Someren, 1921 

by P. A. Clancey 

Received 21st March, 1974 
Van Someren (1921) was the first to demostrate that the glossy starling 
Lamprotornis corruscus Nordmann, 1835: Galgenbosch, near Thornhill, 
eastern Cape, is polytypic when he proposed L. c. mandanus (van Someren), 

113 



1 92 1 : Manda Island, coastal Kenya, on the basis of small size. Sclater (1924- 
1930) admitted mandanus, giving its southern range limits as the lower 
Zambesi R. In 1952, I pointed out (Clancey 1952) that north-eastern Zulu- 
land specimens appeared to be inseparable from mandanus from East Africa, 
but in my own Catalogue (Clancey 196 5-1 966) I admitted only the nominate 
subspecies as occurring in the South African Sub-Region. Mackworth-Praed 
& Grant (195 5.) recognise all four described subspecies: L. c. corruscus, L. c. 
mandanus, L. c.jombeni and L. c. vaughani, showing mandanus as ranging south 
to the littoral of northern, Mozambique. Amadon (1956: 1962) synonymized 
with nominate corruscus both mandanus and Van Someren' s later second men- 
sural raceZ>. c.jombeni (van Someren), 193 1 : Jombeni Hills, north-east of Mt. 
Kenya, Kenya, admitting only corruscus and the insular L.c. vaughani (Banner- 
man), 1936: Pemba Island, Tanzania. 

During a recent working visit to the National Museum of Rhodesia, 
Bulawayo, the Keeper of Ornithology, Mr. M. P. Stuart Irwin, mentioned to 
me that Blackbellied Starlings breeding in the Haroni-Lusitu area of south- 
eastern Rhodesia were certainly not the same as those of the eastern Cape 
(topotypical of L. c. corruscus). I have now investigated this matter with a 
reasonable panel of material which reveals that L. c. mandanus is a valid race 
with an immense range, extending from the Juba R., in Somalia, south to 
Zululand (Ngoye Forest) in South Africa (confirming my tentative findings 
of 1952), and that L. c. corruscus is restricted to the south-eastern and eastern 
Cape and Natal. The size parameter cannot be employed satisfactorily unless 
one has adequate series of both adult and immature (pre-basic) birds and the 
sexing of the specimens is beyond reproach. I mention this because much of 

TABLE 1 

The wing-length variable in adults of three subspecies of 
Lamprotornis corruscus Nordmann 



Population 


Sex 


N 


Range 


M 


S.D. 




Lamprotornis 


corruscus corruscus 






Eastern Cape 


s 


11 


113-5-119 


115-8 


1-85 mm 




? 


6 


108-111 


109-2 


1-36 


Pondoland 


6* 


9 


113 -5-118 


115-3 


i- 80 




? 


7 


107-5-110 


108-3 


1-18 


Natal 


0* 


8 


111-117-5 


115-3 


2-75 




9 


8 


107-5-112 


108-9 


1-74 




Lamprotornis corruscus mandanus 






Zululand (Ngoye) 


s 


5 


109-113 


III -o 


1-58 mm 




? , 


2 


106, 106-5 






Sul do Save 


o* ' 


7 


1 09-1 1 3 


IIO-2 


1-98 




? 


6 


104-107 


I05-8 


1-13 


Manica e Sofala 


3 


6 


107- 5-112 


IIO-O 


2-04 




? 


1 


105 






Eastern Rhodesia 


6* 
? 
0* 
9 
6* 


8 


109-5-112 


110-5 


0-82 


Tanzania 


4 


108-112 


IIO-2 


1-71 


Kenya (coast and Tana R.) 


12 


107-5-113 


I0 9 -5 


i-55 




? 


10 


102-106 


I04-I 


1-70 




Lamprotornis corruscus jombeni 






Kenya (highland) (after 


6* 


5 


116-121 


II9-0 


2-74 mm 



Van Someren 1932) 

The extremely conservative nature of the wing-length ranges and close similarity of the 
means in L. c. corruscus and L. c. mandanus will be noticed. 

114 



Amadon's material was unsexed and he clearly did not differentiate between 
adults and those in immature plumage when formulating his conclusions. In 
this starling immature (pre-basic) males are smaller than adults, equalling in 
size adult females, while immatures of the latter are substantially smaller than 
their respective adults. In arriving at my conclusions I have taken care to sort 
out the material into age classes. 

Specimens of adults in immaculate plumage from the Juba R. and the coast 
of Kenya, south as far as the Ngoye Forest, Mtunzini district, Zululand, 
show no differences of subspecific import. Males of this assemblage of popu- 
lations have the flattened wings ioy 5-1 13. females 102-107 mm (see Table 
1), the males with the ventral surface below the Chessylite Blue (Ridgway 
191 2, pi. xx) plastron medially washed with metallic violet and heavily burn- 
ished with antique gold sheen. South of Zululand, in Natal, the Transkeian 
Territories and the south-eastern and eastern Cape, size in adults increases 
markedly, thus: wings of ^ (m) II 3'5 _II 9> $9 108-112 mm. The male 
with a wing as low as 1 1 1 mm. is from the Natal population, and reveals the 
influence of the presence of the small eastern littoral mandanus in adjacent 
Zululand. Ventrally the large-sized southern males show extensive matt 
black over the medio-ventral plane, with reduced metallic violet overlay, the 
gold sheen restricted to the lateral surfaces and flanks. Females show no 
obvious colour differences not consonant with wear or individual variation. 
Despite opinion to the contrary, L. c. mandanus is a perfectly valid subspecies, 
but is not restricted to East Africa, and requires to have its established range 
extended south to Zululand in the Republic of South Africa. 

The littoral populations of the Blackbellied Starling ranging from south- 
western Somalia to the south-eastern Cape may therefore be arranged in two 
subspecies on the basis of the following summarized characters : 

(a) Lamprotornis corruscus corruscus 

$<$ wings in adults 113-5-119, 9? 108-112 mm. Male with venter below 
plastron medially matt black with some violet gloss and washed laterally 
with antique gold sheen. 

Ranges from the south-eastern and eastern Cape to Natal. 

(b) Lamprotornis corruscus mandanus 

o*o* wings in adults 107- 5-1 13, 9? 102-107 mm. Male with venter below 
the plastron medially overlaid with metallic violet and heavily burnished with 
gold sheen. Ranges from south-western Somalia (Juba R.) and Kenya on the 
Tana R. and coast, to the mainland coast, Zanzibar and Mafia in Tanzania, 
Mozambique, eastern Rhodesia, eastern Swaziland (Lebombo Mts.) and 
Zululand. 

I have not seen any of the limited available material of L. c.jombeni, but 
judging by the wing-lengths of adult males given by van Someren (1932) it 
is even larger on average than the nominate subspecies, and is stated by its 
describer to be "rather brighter" in colour facies than L. c. mandanus. Its 
range is restricted to the eastern highlands of Kenya on Mt. Kenya and the 
neighbouring Jombeni Hills. L. c. vaughani is restricted to the island of Pemba, 
and differs from mandanus in having the crown bluish violet rather than green 
or greenish blue. 

Acknowledgements : For the organising of loans of additional material from 
the collections of the East London Museum and the National Museum of 
Rhodesia, Bulawayo, I am grateful to Mr. C. D. Quickelberge and Mr. 
M. P. Stuart Irwin. 

"5 



References : 

Amadon, D. 1956. Remarks on the Starlings, Family Sturnidae. Amer. Mus. Novit., 1803: 
26, 27. 

— 1962. Family Sturnidae in the continuation of Peters' Check-list of Birds of the World, 
15: 92. 

Clancey, P. A. 1952. A systematic account of the Birds collected on the Natal Museum 
Expedition to the Lebombo Mountains and Tongaland, July, 1952. Ann. Natal Mus., 
12 (2): 266, 267. 

— 1965-1966. A Catalogue of Birds of the South African Sub-Region. Durban Mus. 
Novit.